By BO Editorial Collective
CHAPTER 9 of the BLACK AGENDA on pensions and benefits to the elderly calls for a living pension, free adequate housing, free electricity, water, telephone, travel and health care. It calls for state pension to be in line with average earnings or inflation (whichever is the greater) and so forth. Please read and let’s engage. Send your questions, comments, feedback, etcetera to the following email address: [email protected]
BLACK AGENDA promotes a holistic approach to the well-being of the elderly.
In line with the political and ideological perspective of BLF, BLACK AGENDA draws focus for action on three crucial areas of responsibility, namely: attending to developmental needs; advancing total well-being; ensuring an environment that is enabling and supportive, and; securing a fully responsive public service. To this end enhancing the quality of life of the elderly (for example via a living pension) and encouraging their participation in programmes that advance their overall well-being (social, physical, mental and emotional) is most instructive in managing, preventing or delaying illnesses and other challenges related to aging. On the question of a living pension it must be pointed out that pensioners currently receive a maximum of R1 500 per month for those who are under the age of 75 and R1 520 for those who are over the age of 75. This is a very meager amount and the elderly struggle on a daily basis to make ends meets and evidently in vain.
What Is To Be Done?
– The right to a living pension must be realized. Pensioners should receive an immediate 150% increase on the current R1 500 per month for under 75’s and R1 520 for the over 75’s and this should be extended to all state benefits as a step towards a decent living pension.
– Free decent housing as well as free electricity, water, telephone, travel and health care (including free yearly health checks and long-term care and treatment) based on the needs of pensioners.
– State pension must be in line with average earnings or inflation, whichever is more, so as to enable pensioners to share in the national prosperity. The creation of a National Elderly Persons’ Commission to scrutinise legislation and make recommendations to Parliament.
BLACK AGENDA identifies the following further actions to be embarked upon in furtherance of affording protection to the elderly:
- Devise and recommend a comprehensive program of action that will serve to organize and mobilize members and the broader public into taking an uncompromising stance towards the protection of elderly persons.
- Devise and recommend ideological guidelines for the establishment, implementation and management of all organs of society to ensure that elderly person’s freedoms are promoted, safeguarded and guaranteed.
- Devise and recommend legislation that will serve to protect the interests of elderly persons.
- Monitor and report on the effectiveness / ineffectiveness of the country’s strategy regarding elderly persons within government as well as in the wider community.
- Explore mechanisms and methods of ensuring that the elderly have a radical voice and broad ideological space both within and outside the institutional power structures.