|President Jacob Zuma|
The government is working hard to create stronger mechanisms to prevent abuse‚ neglect and exploitation of the elderly‚ President Jacob Zuma says.Speaking during a visit to the Lodewyk P Spies Home for the aged in Eersterust near Pretoria on Tuesday‚ he said the Older Persons Act called for an elder abuse reporting system and increased public awareness and the prosecution of individuals who violated the rights of older persons.
“We therefore encourage the public to report the abuse‚ neglect and exploitation of older persons to Gender Based Violence Command Centre‚” he said.
President Zuma added that the Government was also improving the lives of the elderly by facilitating access to social protection in order to benefit their quality of life in their golden years.
To date‚ almost three million older persons had access to an old age grant.
“We have already taken necessary steps to ensure that we protect our senior citizens against the predatory loan sharks and illegal deductions from social grants.
“The Department of Social Development is currently in the process of strengthening the Social Assistance Act Regulations to stop illegal deductions and to bring the perpetrators who exploit our senior citizens to face the full might of the law‚” the President stated.
The government was also working with community-based organisations to provide care and support to the majority of older persons who wished to remain in their homes and with their families.
“Equally‚ we conduct regular oversight visits to old age homes to ensure that our older persons are treated with respect and dignity.”
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Stronger mechanisms being created to protect elderly: Zuma