HomeLocal NewsOlder Persons Act finally in force

Older Persons Act finally in force

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THE Older Persons Act, which was passed in 2012, has finally been brought into force five years later through Statutory Instrument 100/2017.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Although the Act, which provides for public assistance allowances and other social welfare services to older persons, became effective on September 1, the legislation is yet to be aligned to the Constitution.

Legal think-tank Veritas, in its recent Bill Watch publication, said although the Older Persons Bill was first crafted in 2002 and enacted in 2012, its full implementation was pending because of lack of funding in the country.

“The Act provides for public assistance allowances and other social welfare services to older persons,” Veritas said.

There are an estimated 760 000 older persons or 5,8% of the population. All along, they have been assisted through social welfare programmes.

Older persons are entitled to monthly stipends of $20 per month, including food handouts, at a time many of them are looking after children mostly orphaned by HIV and Aids.

The Older Persons Act will establish an Older Persons Board, and create an Older Persons Fund, among others.
An older person is described as someone aged 65 and over.

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