What about the elderly?

2017-02-02 06:02

WITH reference to numerous media announcements and discussions about the plight of the poor, the lack of service delivery, the #FeesMustFall campaign and recent utterances on living wages, I would like to draw attention to the latter.

It was announced not so long ago that the minimum wage or living wage for workers should be R3 500. One begs to ask though, what is a living wage? And who are the ones primarily benefitting from it? The understanding is that it is the bare minimum, financially speaking, that a household can operate on.

We appreciate that such a living wage would go a long way to alleviating some pressure from many a household. Much debate and deliberation has gone into deciding this living wage, to the chagrin of most.

However, it brings us to another question. If so much discussion and thought has been given to arriving at a living wage, where does it leave our senior citizens or pensioners? If a living wage of R3 500 is considered a bare minimum, where does it leave the pensioners who are granted R1 500 for their households? And yes, a number of them still run an entire household. We can be quick to retaliate and charge that their children are supposed to support them. But we live in a real world, where pensioners and the older generation are frowned upon and often seen as a nuisance by the very family who are supposed to look after them. It is also not viable for a number of immediate families to look after the elderly. In the economically stressed environment we live in, it is rather difficult to care for your own household and have enough to cater for others (elderly included).

My plea is to draw attention to the real poorest of the poor, the downtrodden, elderly pensioners, who can barely afford to look after themselves. I have seen them standing on corners and intersections and cannot help but wonder what can be done to better assist them. What avenues are there that one can appeal to for support? Can the government do more? Better than the 1,5 k grant would be nice.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.