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Joburg City Council Speaker spreads early festive cheer Print E-mail
06 November 2017
Christmas came early for Eldorado Park pensioners when Speaker of Council in the City of Joburg, Cllr Vasco da Gama, came bearing gifts at a local retirement village in the south of Johannesburg on Saturday.

Cllr Da Gama was helping Joburg’s senior citizens celebrate a belated International Month for Older Persons.

Delivering his keynote address, he said the challenges facing pensioners in Joburg were of such gravity that “we need to think and reflect on the many challenges and vulnerabilities that older persons face in this City”.

Cllr Da Gama assured them of the commitment the City has made to ensure a clean governance and effective use of resources in order to deliver quality and reliable services to them.

He said the city aimed to bring the senior citizens into the centre of democratic participation in the affairs of the City of Johannesburg and hope to continue intensifying consultative processes and dialogues with its senior citizens, extending a much needed helping hand and support to ensure that they remain active, healthy and happy.

“We are aware that instead of enjoying your old age, you have assumed a new role. With your little old age grant you have assumed a role of being bread-winners, care givers to your children and grand-children and overall pillars of your families.

“This is not an easy role for an elderly but circumstances of many senior citizens have forced this responsibility upon them. The City recognizes these challenges you have to face on daily basis.

“The biggest priority to the City is to combat poverty among senior citizens. In this regard, the City has various poverty relief and empowerment initiatives driven by our Department of Health and Social Development,” Cllr Da Gama said.

One of the residents at the village, Mrs Sheila Brown, expressed gratitude for the three-course meal and the gifts from the City of Joburg. “It’s so nice to know that we’re not forgotten people. This realy shows people care about us.”

The overall strategic objective of the initiatives is to reduce the number of older persons who are without shelter and food; cut the number of older persons who are abused, abandoned and uncared for; increase the number of older persons who continue to be active and productive members of our society as long as mind, body and soul allow them to do so; and lower the numbers of older persons who do not have access to health care services that are a crucial feature of their lives.


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