Zuma: SA achieves reduction of chronic poverty

2013-09-29 20:28
President Jacob Zuma (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma (GCIS)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday the country has achieved a significant reduction of chronic poverty especially among the elderly.

The achievements can be ascribed to government's comprehensive social protection programme, he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the launch of National Older Persons Week in Pretoria.

The programme included various social grants such as the old age pension grant and primary health care for the poor.

"We have 16 million persons currently receiving social grants. Over eleven million are children, three million are senior citizens," Zuma said.

He said the country's life expectancy was growing and people were living longer.

"We have increased life expectancy with an average of five years due to successful government health and anti-poverty programmes. This increase is expected to continue and the number of persons over 60 will increase in the next coming years," he said.

Zuma said the health of the elderly was a concern.

"According to Statistics SA, 55% of our older persons over 70 years of age struggle with chronic diseases and 35% have some kind of disability."

Government has improved the health care of older persons and will continue to do so, he said.

He also encouraged the elderly to live a healthy lifestyle and refrain from drinking and smoking.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  poverty  |  health

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