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Batho Pele Principles

Limpopo Provincial Government takes a heed at grassroot level to ensure safety of older people

By: Moraka Mehale

Each year on the 15th June, countries worldwide celebrate World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day. June as celebration month for Elderly Abuse Awareness came as result of United Nations resolutions 66/127 to address challenges that affect elder persons’ human rights because equality means balance of everyone’s rights unequivocally.

Therefore, Limpopo Office of the Premier with Musina Municipality at local sphere of government met elder persons at Musina old community hall, Nancefield in Musina to unpack issues that affect elder people. They started with a peaceful march from Musina Local Municipality offices to Musina old community hall to let community members aware of their rights as human beings. This is to continue celebrating the awareness throughout the year because abuse of elders occurs anytime and there’s need to confront it.

Since symmetrical communication plays vital role to exchange information, premier’s office finds it useful not to assume hiccups elders face but afforded them opportunity to raise them collectivistically. Physical, emotional, financial and sexual challenges were raised during the continuous celebration and elders lamented on the Premier’s office and Musina Municipality to mitigate their challenges. Lydia Maphana as one of elderly people pleaded exuberantly and shared her joyous smile as government brought to people, that their needs be met. “I am glad that our government came to us to hear our grievances and we hope for the best with shared information to them,” said Maphana. South African government emanated from being minority freedom country to majority ritual participation regardless of physical stature. With that in minds of public servants, elders are viewed as trophy won during hard conditions hence Limpopo government respects them as high citizens’ worth to be celebrated every day and given courtesy.

Departments’ representatives during awareness vocalized the important aspects of life that should be valued in line with elder people. William Matseba from Limpopo Older Persons’ Forum insinuated that working together older persons’ abuse could be dealt with to avoid mental and emotional abuse of our beloved people. Councillor Sakala under the leadership in Musina Municipality received the needs of elder people with consideration. “I will ensure that I submit their grievance to municipality to work together to ensure best solution to suits our people,” explained Sakala.

This is to ensure that older persons understand their rights to enjoy them and participate fully within their society. Furthermore, ensure the consideration of physical and psychological elements of ageing are monitored and the special needs of older people. This includes provision of community services to them and eradicate poverty, value social cohesion and economic support of older persons. This helps government to better understand older persons’ challenges and present tactics to them. It also helps community members to treat the elder persons with love and respect to avoid instilling abuse mentality in older persons as part of life. Musina elder people felt it important to tell government representatives, because they believe that government cares and help is available.