OLDER PERSONS BILL
A WRITTEN SUBMISSION FROM IKAMVA LABANTU
Ikamva Labantu is a large, community-based , umbrella organisation which focuses on strengthening and supporting a variety of community-based projects. The Senior Sector has been functioning since 1988. It supports 22 Senior clubs in disadvantaged areas. The comments below are from the staff of the Senior Sector.
Chapter I Programmes for the development of older persons Older persons are in most cases the sole breadwinner in the household. They are also active and productive. Programmes need to be geared towards the development and enhancement of income-generating activities. Programmes need to include health, social and emotional support due to the impact of HIV/AIDS orphans.Programmes/ services/funding need to focus on the development of and sustainability of day-care centres for seniors
g. We have problems in several areas where we are using multi-purpose facilities. The seniors have to pay membership fees of R5.00 per person per month. But if there is another activity on they have to move out. The security is poor. There should be a focus on integrated community care and support system. The Councillors and Ward Committees do not see this as important because older persons are not seen as a priority.H ow are we going to work in multi-purpose facilities? The Social Services say that it is the local council’s responsibility. The local council says that it is the NGO’s responsibility. But we have no funding and insufficient staffing.We are involved with eight multi-purpose facilities.
h. "The provision of basic, affordable accommodation for older persons "How do we access this? What mechanisms are in place so that we can check what has been done? What information is passed on to NPO’s? Social Service people never have time. We know of one woman who had to live without lockable doors. We are told by some of our most vulnerable seniors that they have to join the queue at the local clinic at 3 a.m. The doors open at 7 a.m. There are only two doctors present. If they are not seen by a doctor by 3 p.m. they are told to come back the next day. The nursing staff treat them with rudeness and contempt
"free or subsidised transport facilities" Dial a-ride - frail, older persons do not qualify for this.
Chapter 2 no.9 Admission to facilities.
There are language difficulties in three of our clubs
No.10 Monitoring. We know of only one social worker who monitors. They are often not helpful "It is not in our power" It is pointless putting social workers in the Bill if they do not have the resources
We acknowledge the Bill particularly for Chapter 3 and the paragraph :" Older person in need of care and protection.
Chapter 3 NGO’s and government social workers need to form a partnership in addressing the intervention (emergency) of abuse of older persons.