R109?mln for KZN’s elderly

2013-06-07 00:00

ELDERLY citizens in KZN have been given R109 million from the Social Development’s R2,3 billion 2013/2014 budget.

The money, according to department MEC Weziwe Thusi, will be spent towards the care of and services for elderly citizens.

“Within this financial year, the construction of day care centres for the elderly will commence, with one in

uMshwati being the first. We will roll out these facilities to all districts in the subsequent years,” Thusi said while delivering her department’s budget in the KZN Legislature yesterday.

She said the high rate of abuse of elderly citizens, including murder, had necessitated programmes that will look out for them.

“These cases have drawn the attention of the public at large. Strengthening of partnerships will be prioritised to ensure integration in the delivery of services for older persons,” Thusi said.

Training for people with autism, dyslexia and programmes to boost self-confidence among the disabled would be intensified. “The department will increase the number of persons with disabilities in funded centres and those accessing services in funded protective workshops.”

Children in conflict with the law would also be assessed and placed in diversion programmes.

Shelters for abused women were planned for Pongola, Jozini, uMzimkhulu, Kokstad and Abaqulusi municipalities, she said.

The department’s R120 million for HIV-Aids would be spent, among other things, on the delivery of community-based child and youth care services.

The DA’s Makhosazana Mdlalose said the department needed to work more with the police to fight the abuse of elderly citizens.“The number of reported crimes targeting the elderly is alarming,” she said, adding more needed to be done beyond creating awareness on the abuse of elderly citizens.

The IFP’s N.J. Nkwayana called on the department to empower youth with the skills that will enable them to compete in the labour market and with skills that will make the youth of this province employable. “The unemployment and lack of educational facilities are some of the factors that contribute to the high percentage of youth engaging in drugs and substance abuse.”

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