Growing concern for large number of seniors living alone near Ixopo

Growing concern for large number of seniors living alone near Ixopo

The Mayor of Ubuhlebezwe Municipality says the large number of elderly people living alone around Ixopo is a growing challenge.

Chitiwe Jili

The plight of a 70-year-old woman who's been living in abject poverty in Hluthankungu has cast a spotlight on the issue.

According to the KZN Social Development Department, Chitiwe Jili's children have died, while the whereabouts of her only surviving son are unknown.

She's been living alone in squalor in her rondavel.

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The department says Jili's has also been left vulnerable to criminals, who've been robbing her of her grant money and groceries.

Officials managed to trace some of her relatives, and she's been temporarily left in their care.

They say a housing project in the ward has got off the ground, adding Jili will be prioritised. 

Mayor Bathobile Mgubo says people from the area often move to the city to look for work opportunities and leave behind elderly relatives.

"Ubuhlebezwe Municipality is one of those rural and vulnerable municipalities. People seem to go and look for greener pastures in urban areas like Durban and Pietermaritzburg. So now they are forced to live the elders alone, so this incident is common in this area."  

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Mgubo shared how senior citizens can seek assistance if they live alone. 

"We do have CCGs which is our Community Care Givers from the Department of Health, and we do have a component of CCG's within our CWP programme, which is one."

"Also, the department has got the Grant-in-Aid which we are encouraging our communities that they should access this assistance that they should get people who will help them in terms of cleaning up and looking after them and see if they have slept well." 

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