Second Senior Citizens Parliament ibihleli eBhisho KweyeThupha
On August 22, The Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature hosted the second Senior Citizen’s Parliament in the Raymond Mhlaba Chambers eBisho.
This is the second senior citizen parliament held since its inaugural session in 2011. The purpose of the parliament is; “to provide a platform to expound issues affecting senior citizens”.
EC Provincial Legislature Speaker, Noxolo Kiviet, in a media briefing at the session said; “during the second term of our democracy we started conceptualising the notion of sectoral parliament as part of broadening people’s involvements in the work of parliament and that is how parliament for senior citizens came about”.
She added that public participation is considered fundamental to the people’s legislature and “we cannot be a people’s assembly unless we are closely in touch with the people”.
500 delegates attended from local, district and metro municipalities. The 2014 Parliament for Senior Citizens was held under the theme “moving the senior citizens agenda forward beyond the 20 years of democracy”.
At the Senior Citizen Parliament the EC Premier, Phumulo Masualle, said; “Government must mobilise communities to protect the elderly and preserve their rights,” and that; “No amount of money can buy elderly wisdom”.
“In this term we decided that we must make sure elderly people have access to houses, we are aiming to build 65 000 houses. Every year we must respond to the situations that elderly people are facing,” He said.
The elderly representatives from various municipalities presented their inputs commending government effort to better their lives and also shared challenges that senior citizen are faced with in the Province.
Provincial Chairperson of the EC Senior Citizen Parliament, Florence De Vos, speaking on behalf of elderly, thanked the government for the support that it is offering.
“We would like to highlight the positive achievement of the government on the protection of elderly persons. We acknowledge the legislative changes brought about during the older persons act of 2006 with regard to investigation of; abuse cases, prosecution of perpetrators and the establishment of this parliament,” said De Vos.
Kiviet said; “through this sector parliament we will ensure that relevant government departments are able to respond to the issues raised and in the development of a caring society particularly for older persons”.
Whilst Masualle concluded that the overall aim is to encourage public participation by providing the public with the opportunity for them to voice their views on how their government should interact and what programs must be put in place to cater for their needs.
“This term we want to achieve our common goal to make this a better province and a better country” He concluded.