Communities Urged to Be Responsible This Festive Season

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini will today meet with the older persons and community of Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga to urge the community to exercise responsible behaviour during this festive season.

As the holiday season begins and people ready themselves for December festivities, older persons are left by themselves without proper care, while others are subjected to physical and emotional abuse by family members.

The department noted that many people during the festive season abuse alcohol, setting in motion an array of irresponsible behaviour, some of which is directed at and impacts older persons.

“The rise in the abuse and neglect of older persons during the festive season is directly proportional to the increase in use of alcohol in the country. Also, when people go out to enjoy holiday festivities they often leave children behind to be cared for by older persons.

“Many older persons are often not able to carry this burden, leaving them stressed and frustrated, while also depriving children of proper care. This is also a time when many parents die as a result of irresponsible behaviour brought on by alcohol abuse, forcing many older persons into parenting the children left behind,” the department said.

During a meeting to be held at midday at Thulamahashe Stadium, Minister Dlamini will also address older persons on some of the issues raised during the Older Persons’ Parliament in Mpumalanga Province in October. She will be accompanied by Mpumalanga MEC for Social Development Nomsa Mtsweni.

The Bushbuckridge outreach programme is part of the department’s Project Mikondzo – a service delivery improvement initiative aimed at expanding the reach of the department’s services and finding innovative and more efficient ways of delivering services to the poorest communities in the country. –

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