Minister Lindiwe Zulu to kick start the 2019 Active Ageing Programme in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality
The Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu will on Monday, 21 October 2019 officially kick start the 2019 Active Ageing Programme which is scheduled to take place from 21 25 October 2019 in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Province of the Eastern Cape.
The Active Ageing Programme was introduced by the Department of Social Development in partnership with the South African Older Persons Forum (SAOPF) to uphold the human rights of older persons and to respond to their developmental needs in South Africa as directed by the Older Persons Act (Act No. 13 2006) and the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing.
Its goal is to improve the quality of life of older persons by amongst others, promoting independence, participation in various social, cultural and sporting initiatives that seek to prevent and reduce old age related burden of diseases. This is part of the Department’s effort to build a caring society that promotes and protects the human rights of people of all ages.
Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that the proportion and number of older persons (60 and over) are increasing worldwide and in South Africa. This is corroborated by data from Statistics South Africa, which shows that the population of older persons significantly increased from 2, 8 million in 1996 and 4, 1 million in 2011 to 4, 8 million in 2018.
The National and Provincial Departments of Social Development provide financial support to a number of NGOs that render care and support services to older persons, with particular focus on family and community based services.
Of this number, almost 3 million receive income support in the form of the Old Age Grant, which has significantly reduced extreme poverty among older persons. The Active Ageing Programme seeks to contribute to South Africa’s national efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030), which calls for leaving no one behind, with a particular focus on older persons. The increasing number of older persons can be attributed to the improved life expectancy and longevity.
The programme brings together older persons across all nine provinces and affords them an opportunity to interact and build friendships with their peers.
During the week long programme, older persons will receive free health screenings and also learn about age related health issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
As part of promoting healthy and active lifestyle among older persons, the Department of Social Development has partnered with the Virgin Active Health Club in Port Elizabeth. During the course of the Active Ageing Programme, a group of older persons will join Minister Lindiwe Zulu on 30 minute light aerobic exercise routine which will be conducted by a fitness instructor from Virgin Active.
Source: Government of South Africa