The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality recently held a Senior Citizens’ Celebration Day at Numbi Hotel in Hazyview. As part of the day’s activities the elderly were treated to a 3 course meal and given information on health issues. The elderly also received blankets, the old ladies received umbrellas while the old gentlemen were given panama hats.
Giving a keynote address, the Acting Executive Mayor, MMC Violet Nkuna referred to the senior citizens as the vvips of the event. Nkuna told the elderly that Bushbuckridge Local Municipality loves them and she promised that the municipality will have a celebration with the senior citizens every year. She urged them to teach the younger generation about the history of the country.
She also spoke about the importance of the senior citizens and said that the current generation wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the senior citizens. She urged them to continue reading and having library memberships.
“It is true that a person never stops learning, reading helps us a lot. Through reading we relieve stress, we acquire indigenous knowledge, our kids today don’t even know healthy traditional food. They always eat junk, fatty food. But it would help us if we were to teach them. We should be like Solomon, who asked for wisdom when God asked him what he wished for” said Nkuna.
Nkuna also added that the municipality saw it fit that a budget is set aside every year for libraries. She urged the elderly to support the government in its efforts. She said the government places great trust on the senior citizens because they are trustworthy and they are always on time. She said without the support of these senior citizens, the government is going nowhere.
She also added that the current generation doesn’t have the knowledge that the senior citizens have, adding that some of them even reach matric without knowing how to read properly or how to answer the questions they are asked properly. She gave an example of how most senior citizens know how to read even though they didn’t go to school or reach matric. She told them that the knowledge they have is valuable so they should transfer it to the current generations.
“The issue of this Alzheimer’s disease is a very serious one and it is so serious that it requires our efforts as your carers, children and grandchildren that we take proper care of you. This tendency of accusing the elderly of witchcraft when they are old and frail and starting to lose their memory is not on. It happens most of the time even where I stay. I think that awareness campaigns about this Alzheimer’s disease should be done in our communities, to the relevant people” she said.
Nkuna told the seniors that the municipality didn’t just call them. She said they wanted to show the appreciation they have for the senior citizens. She said it is vital that they be taken out once in a while so their minds get refreshed. She told them that they wanted to have lunch with the senior citizens because they love them, and that they always wanted to give them some presents even though they were not much.
“We love you as Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, may the good Lord bless you and also extend the days of your lives. May He also keep you safe and strong for us. Today, we want to share the little we have with you. We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May the Good Lord keep you safe and may you have safe journeys back home” Nkuna concluded.
Speaking to Bushbuckridge News, Nkuna said the event was held because they wanted to encourage the seniors to acquire more language, to reduce stress and to show them that Bushbuckridge local municipality loves them. She said they are hoping to do more than this in the coming years as this is going to be an annual event. She said those who are abusing the elderly will know that BLM cares about the senior citizens and that it is fighting against the abuse of the senior citizens.
One of the seniors who was present at the event, Mr Enock Lebyane from College View said what the municipality is doing for the elderly is a good thing. He said they should continue to guide them into leading healthy lifestyles because as pensioners they will also be able to call their peers to join. However, he called on to the municipality to use a more local venue because that will attract more pensioners. He said what they experienced on the day is no different from exercising.
Another senior citizen, Ms Aggy Mohlala from Bushbuckridge said she is very happy with what the municipality has done for them and the gifts they have given them. She said the municipality should keep on doing this as it makes them cheerful. She added that the information they received is also very helpful.