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Lesaso calls for construction of old age homes

04 Mar 2024

Government should consider building old age homes across the  country as a means to provide a dignified life for the elderly, Shoshong MP, Mr Aubrey Lesaso has said.

Debating the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development budget proposal for the 2024/2025 financial year, Mr Lesaso said while some elderly people could be fortunate enough to have a strong family support system, others did not have the same privilege.

He said in such cases old age homes could provide a safe and secure environment for senior citizens to live comfortably.

Mr Lesaso argued that old age homes would provide specialised care and attention to seniors, which may not be possible at home due to various reasons such as lack of time or expertise.

He said old age facilities could offer round-the-clock care, medical assistance and daily living support to the elderly.

In response, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Kgotla  Autlwetse highlighted that government was committed to providing a dignified life for the elderly and other less privileged members of the community through various social protection programmes.

“Government has various social protection programmes such as Old Age Pension, Destitute Persons, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Community Home Based Care patients, World War II veterans and People with Disabilities allowances,” he explained.

He noted that over 236 000 beneficiaries were registered under various social protection programmes and that 135 were old age pensioners.

Mr Autlwetse further noted that his ministry proposed to increase social benefit allowances by P100 from April.

This, he said, would cover safety nets such as old age pension allowances, destitute cash allowance, World War II veterans allowances and the disability allowances while the Village Development Committee sitting allowance would increase by P130.

“Although these increases may not be exhaustive, they are intended to enhance the wellbeing of the beneficiaries,” he said.

With reference to Ipelegeng programme, Mr  Autlwetse said the  implementation of the programme was making significant strides in addressing the challenges faced by the less privileged across the country.

“The transformed programme, encompassing both labour-intensive and drought relief aspects, has engaged a cumulative total of 602 478 individuals and has expended P480.6 million for the 2023/2024 financial year,” he said.

He added that the skills development component of the programme continued to positively impact the lives of Batswana, noting that 157 artisans had been accredited in construction-related trades, including bricklaying and plastering, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, painting, tiling and paving.

The minister said ongoing nationwide training was expected to produce 3 294 graduates and deliver 127 projects by the end of the second quarter of the financial year 2024/2025.
In response to the severe arable drought, Mr  Autlwetse said government had increased the Ipelegeng programme quota by a combined 20 000 slots.

He said running costs covering materials and tools had been augmented to accommodate an additional 196 construction and minor maintenance projects nationwide. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : parliament

Date : 04 Mar 2024