Holomisa has lunch with elderlies

2016-10-27 06:00
Some of the senioir citizens who are hosted by the JL Zwane Centre, during the luncheon prepared for them                                     PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

Some of the senioir citizens who are hosted by the JL Zwane Centre, during the luncheon prepared for them PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Bantu Holomisa, the leader of the UDM was a guest speaker at a monthly luncheon for the elderly at the JL Zwane Centre last Wednesday,

The centre hosts the elderly there as part of their social responsibility programme.

On that day, over a hundred beneficiaries turned out for the event, and used the opportunity to meet Holomisa to vent their concerns.

One of them, Jane Mzongwana,65, pleaded with Holomisa to invite Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, to come and address the concerns of senior citizens in the area.

Mzongwana said the living conditions of senior citizens have not improved since the dawn of democracy.

“We are in trouble. Some of the elders here were forcefully removed (by the Apartheid government) from areas such as Kensington, but they are still suffering. It is painful to me that they still bathe in cold water while children in projects like the N2 Gateway showered in hot water. Please go and tell the ministers that we want them to come and address us about these issues. The elders were in exile, but the ANC dumped them,” Mzongwana added.

Holomisa assured the senior citizens that he would write a letter to the ministers as requested as soon as he got back to office.

Addressing the senior citizens, Holomisa appealed to them to pray for the country as it was facing challenges.

“We do have a problem in this country. We need your prayers. One of the most problems we have is corruption. Ask your sons to put the country first, not their political parties. Other challenges are how to groom future leaders,” he said.

Holomisa also congratulated his host, Reverend Dr Spiwo Xapile, for “achieving such a lot at your young age.”

The senior citizen’s lunch has become a regular occurence since its inception in April.

According to Makhaya Manie, a spokesperson, the numbers have jumped from around 125 to averaging about 350 pensioners monthly.

Senior citizens view the centre as a point of convenience for them and believe that more could be done to make their lives a little bit easier, he said.

It was revealed that during last month’s luncheon, they suggested that the venue be used for chronic medication collection point.

Manie said the meetings are also used as a way to brief the elderly and share information from government officials, in the areas of housing backlogs and services offered by home affairs.

Reverend Xapile also asked the senior citizens to invite foreign nationals who lived in their backyards and others who run businesses in the area to come and share their experiences, especially the conditions which forced them to leave their own countries.

He said: “Invite them so we can meet and have a conversation with them. We want to hear the reasons which drove them to come here and understand their problems.

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