Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

11 March 2022

Gauteng Department of Social Development MEC, Morakane Mosupye hosted a Centenarian lunch at the Southern Sun Hotel, Pretoria on Friday, 11 March 2022.

The lunch with centenarians was hosted to honour and acknowledge their contribution to the welfare of their families and the development of the province.

The occasion was also a platform for older persons to raise issues that affect them in their daily lives.

According to Mrs Lettie Buthelezi (turning 100 years old this year), there is a common belief that old people gradually become less useful as they grow older.

“It is a common belief that this world is made for the young, however, various religious beliefs and life itself have taught us that with age comes great wisdom, and stories of men and women that have achieved great things remind us that we can be useful at any age and any stage.

“There is no age limit to living a life filled with purpose, and indeed we must live meaningful lives until we take our last breath,” said Mrs Buthelezi.

Guided by the Growing Gauteng Together Vision 2030 (GGT 2030) which states that we must build a province in which all older persons with disabilities are empowered at Social Development we contend the values of a caring and compassionate society are sacrosanct to the development of the province.

The concept of a caring society is strengthened and deepened when we recognize our centenarians who paved the way for South Africa we have today and the responsibility of creating such a society is shared by everyone.

The aging population is rapidly increasing in South Africa with older persons experiencing more complex needs as they live longer.

Gauteng continues to record the largest share of the population with approximately fifteen million eight hundred and ten thousand three hundred and eighty-eight (15,810 388) people living in this province, with a total of one million, four hundred thousand, six hundred and four (1 400 604) older persons residing in the province.

“As the Gauteng Government, we are committed to total support, upliftment, and advancement of the rights of older persons, the Premier deemed it fit to organize this Centenary Celebration, to appreciate and thank older persons for their selflessness towards their families, significant others, and the community but also to celebrate their birthdays with their peers, some in their 90s 80s and 70s.

“We encourage people to take care of older persons and incorporate them and their social and community activities as part of ensuring that they live healthy lives,” MEC Mosupyoe said.