A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 February 2003
OLDER PERSONS POLICY AND DRAFT BILL: WORKSHOP
Chairperson: Ms D Mahlangu (ANC)
Documents Handed Out:
South African Policy for Older Persons Eighth Draft
Draft Bill for Older Persons
Draft Policy Document issues were discussed in the morning. In particular health and intersectoral collaboration was discussed. Members were concerned that the document created urban bias perceptions that needed to be corrected. It was agreed that the implementation aspects of the policy needed to be strengthened.
The workshop included representatives from the department of Social Development, and the Task team on Older Persons. The Chair person highlighted the urgency of finalizing the bill which was now running its forth year; and presenting it to Cabinet.
During the afternoon session the wording of the Long Title and Preamble to the Bill was clarified and Clause Five of the Bill was debated. The legislative possibilities of issues raised under the sub-headings of Chapter Two of the Draft Policy Document were also discussed.
The Facilitator Mr Steve Rule (Director: Research, Office of the Minister) highlighted the changes that had been effected on the eighth draft policy. He said that this draft had been shortened into a more clearer and concise document. Changes effected included the structural changes made on preamble, sections within chapter two had been moved into relevant chapters, a newly written chapter four, and a condensed chapter five.
Mr Botes (Department of Social Development) felt that the policy document should discuss service providers and the role they play in delivering service.
Ms M Turok (Task Team) said that this was partially covered in chapter four but no audit was done about who was delivering what kind of service, and where it was being delivered.
Ms SP Rwexana (ANC) pointed out that the main problem was at implementation level. She felt that government resources did not reach grass root levels in the rural areas.
From further discussion on this matter it was noted that service providers were not registered. There ought to be a list of organisations that were receiving state subsidies and what services were provided. It was also highlighted that some organisations that were service providers did not receive state subsidies because they were either not recognised, or there was no funding available, or their role as service providers was a support service.
Of importance from this discussion was the dire need for a partnership between all service providers and the department, an audit to ensure service everywhere but particularly in the rural areas. Members were urged to use the constituencies in their areas to help in getting lists of service providers.
Prof L Mbadi (UDM) was concerned that the document was urban biased and that there was discrimination of rural people, and wanted his perception corrected.
It became more apparent that for older persons to access these services depended on their ability to access the services of other departments, as these services were provided by those departments. For example, the Department for Transport for transport to get to clinics, Department of Health to get medication, Department of Housing for housing, and accessing these services and facilities was more difficult in rural areas. Housing needs differed in the rural areas as compared to housing needs in urban areas. Synergy with the relative departments was necessary in order for the Department of Social Development (DOSD) to be able to play an effective facilitating advocacy role.
Mr M Masutha (ANC) inquired about the vision of the bill. He highlighted its developmental role and how access was then opened up for the essential services of the elderly. He cautioned that some of these services went beyond social welfare. He emphasised that clarity was required as to what would be done with the services, hence norms and standards for quality control of service providers and also so that they as a committee could have records to inspect. The scope of the regulatory process needed to be specific and a framework for the rights of the elderly needed to be provided.
Prof L Mbadi (UDM) said that rural areas had now been placed under municipalities but there were no housing policies in those areas. He added that on communal land, for example, it was not necessary to build houses, but a once off payment of R22 000 to the older person could allow him or her a decent rondavel or shelter; they would just need access to building material.
Mr Saloojee (ANC) said that theoretically it was possible for the elderly to apply for housing subsidies.
Ms M Turok said they had asked the department of Housing to collect statistics of the number of elderly persons that had accessed housing subsidies. She added that there was tension in this area because there were not enough housing subsidies to go around.
The members agreed that the document needed to enhance implementation aspects of the policy.
Mr M Masutha suggested that development workers could be used as a measure of authority to assist people. The president state of the nation speech mentioned that development workers were there to specifically ensure people accessed services, and this included giving effective implementation.
Mr Botes said that development workers were trained to develop other facilities such as crèches, poverty alleviation projects, HIV/AIDS awareness. He suggested that that they look into involving them in home inspection pending to their capacity and funding.
Mr E Saloojee(ANC) felt that there were insufficient professional social workers to deploy on the field in which case the development workers could fill in the gaps and other workers could assist.
Further discussion centred around development workers decided that the protection of older persons as discussed in chapter 5 of the draft policy resolved that the department of Safety and Security could target such people and task them to provide proactive protective assistance to the elderly. This was said to be particularly relevant to strengthening the family unit themes because African elderly were predominantly at home with their family and not in old age homes. Multi purpose centres were recommended.
With reference to chapter six, Mr M Masutha pointed out that primary in the area of protection they needed to create an institution, preferably one whose framework would address the holistic framework envisaged by the policy. He added that the ombudsperson was not the person responsible for implementation, and was concerned that in the end they would have a policy with no one claiming responsibility. He felt a clear hierarchy, which started at the DOSD, was needed. He said he expected the DOSD to tell them how they saw themselves driving this and then discuss the matter with the Committee.
The Chairperson felt that chapter six had to be rearranged and strengthened. She reminded members although the meeting was the final consultative meeting the changes would be reflected on the document at a different type of meeting.
Suggestions of little villages with housing complexes and multi purpose community centres gained support in view of the community based care envisaged.
Ms C Legodu (Department of Social Development) said that the community centres were intended to be multipurpose and well exploited, therefore also, for example, to be used by the youth, as an information centre.
Ms S Rajbally (Minority Front) said that there were municipal centres where doctors give of their time to the elderly on certain days. They had negotiated with hospitals to distribute medicine at these centres. Ms Rajbally's worry was that in the rural areas there were usually no such centres. She stressed that the three levels of government must work together to address this. She said that existing facilities needed to be made better use of as there were housewives who were prepared to help for a few days a week with caring for the elderly.
Ms M Koornhof (Age in Action) commented that they needed a well thought through document in which they acknowledge existing facilities and initiatives and provide for their utilisation.
Mr M Masutha (ANC) commented that he found the Bill a much better flowing document than the Policy but that they still needed a clear flow from what they wanted to achieve to how this could be done and what the capacity to deliver was. This capacity would include the role of local government and traditional leaders. He said they needed to clearly distinguish between the role of the state versus that of Non Governmental Organisations and the Private Sector and outline how they will be supporting the last two.
Ms M Turok (Member of the Task Team) asked Mr S Rule (Director: Research, Office of the Minister) if he had had meetings with the Department of Health and what had transpired from them. She asked what they could include with regards to health in the Bill.
Mr Rule referred the House to Chapter Three of the Policy, "Advancing health and well-being into old age". He mentioned that the Department of Health had commissioned a report on the minimum data set on aging, which had not been forwarded to the Ministry of Health and they were thus unable to quote from it.
Ms Turok said that her comment referred to the need to strengthen the chapter.
Mr Mantata (Member of the Task Team) pointed out that the Health Department was already running home-based care and training caregivers. He asked at what point Social Development meets the Health Department.
Dr D Mahlangu (Deputy Director, Older Persons) replied that there were many examples of similar services offered and much collaboration especially in the context of AIDS. There were new guidelines in the Health department on how to deal with the elderly.
Mr Mantata gave an example of an elderly person who had died from gross abuse but that neither caregivers from Health nor Social Development had reported the abuse. He questioned whose responsibility this should have been and if they work collectively in such instances.
Dr Mahlangu replied that some people fall through the safety net. She referred to the section "Reporting of an older person in need of care and protection" in Chapter Five of the Policy Document and asked if it was possible to come up with a strategy to combat this better.
Mr Masutha said that they needed to ensure that they had created the necessary synergy with other departments. He suggested they deal with this using an issues based approach and say under each issue, for example abuse, who the role players are.
Ms W Bryan (CEO: Age in Action) referred to "Intersectoral collaboration" in the preamble to the Policy and suggested that they need an Office for Older Persons.
Ms Koornhof said that in the section "Protection for older Persons" in Chapter 5 of the Policy Document, they should state that abuse of the elderly was a crime and use stronger wording.
Ms Bryan noted that wording was not enough to ensure that guidelines are implemented and that collaboration to aid the elderly was only happening in a few provinces.
A member stressed that the debate over the respective powers and functions of different levels of government was having a great impact on services delivery. She felt that national and provincial government were not always fulfilling their role in providing funds and thus local government could not work effectively.
Mr Masutha said that they should send a letter to the relevant departments stating that the Policy for Older Persons required the following from that department. He stressed that if Social development steps on people's toes they would get a response.
Mr Rule then referred back to the suggestion to put abuse of the elderly in stronger wording and suggested they reintroduce mention of a jail sentence that some people originally objected to. He said that he had tried in vain to get other departments participation and would welcome suggestions on how to do this successfully.
The house discussed this topic giving numerous suggestions.
Mr Masutha concluded that they should not send a thick document to other departments for comment or it would not be looked at. He reiterated that they needed to send a clearly worded letter outlining the relevant implications for the relevant department and this would get a response. He said that in his experience other departments voluntarily approached one when they realise the implications in new Policy for themselves.
Mr E Salojee (ANC) also stressed the importance of the public hearing to come and said that civil society would make a valuable contribution.
Long Title, Preamble of the Bill and Chapter Two of the Draft Policy Document
Mr P Du Preez (Law Advisor: Department of Social Development) said that there were many shortcomings in the Draft Bill. He noted that at the workshop on the January 22 2003 he requested written comments on the Policy document, which he only received from Ms Turok. He would only change the Draft after the committee had made final changes and after the following Wednesday's meeting of the select committee.
Prof. L Mbadi (UDM) commented that in the opening paragraph of the Draft Bill, before the preamble, it says that the Bill provides for the "â€¦establishment and registration of certain institutions" but this phrasing did not address the fact that in his culture most of the aged where not put in institutions but cared for by their families.
Dr Mahlangu asked if he wanted to include the phrase "families and extended families" to cover this.
Members of the House gave various suggestions on how to accommodate the fact the Bill also provides for the aged cared for outside of institutions. Dr Mahlangu concluded that it was agreed that the wording in the introductory paragraph (or Long Title) was to include all environments in which the aged live: families, communities etc.
Ms U Mzuye (Department of Social Development) commented that the Bill needed to highlight 'families' not just 'communities'. She illustrated this with an example of an elderly woman who may be charged by the community with being a witch. In such a situation care giving was the sphere of the family not of the community who ostracised her.
Ms I Mentz (Department of Social Development) said that the first paragraph of the Bill was important and should reflect the paradigm in which the Policy was drawn up and in which they intended it to be implemented, but as it stands it does not reflect this.
Ms Bryan asked if the inclusion of "families" could be legislated for if the Long Title was extended to include "the accommodation and care of older persons in [such] institutions and families".
Mr Du Preez replied that the Long Title could be as long or short as required but can only mention that stated in the contents of the Bill.
Ms Mzuye suggested that the Long Title seemed to overemphasise certain aspects of the Bill such as accommodation of the elderly.
Ms J Chalmers commented that the phrase: "to provide for the protection and welfare of older persons" included "and empowerment of older persons".
Mr Rule agreed with Ms Mentz that the preamble of the Bill should reflect the Policy.
Mr Rule then moved on to the section entitled "Intersectoral Collaboration" in the Preamble. He said that the Bill needs to state clearly the need for intersectoral collaboration and that as the Department of Social Development was the lead department in this policy it should state in the Bill something to the effect: "to promote the interests of the elderly and to actively seek the collaboration of other departments".
Mr Du Preez replied that as the Department of Social Development administered the Policy it was not necessary to stress their leading role. He pointed out that if the Bill were to put certain obligations on other departments, they would need to get their approval first.
Mr Rule said that it is important that the services other departments provide are easily accessible by older persons. This could be stated in the preamble to the Bill.
Ms Mentz referred to the last paragraph of the Policy in Chapter Two that deals with "optimum operation" or interaction of the three levels of government and said that this was as important as interdepartmental collaboration. She then asked if the Policy and Bills reference to "all older persons" included non-citizens and what the human rights implications of this issue were.
Mr Du Preez replied that if stated as "all older persons" would it include refugees and other non-citizens.
A member asked if non-citizens qualify for housing to which Mr Rule replied that with regards to housing and social services one had to be a citizen and noted that one had to be receiving a grant to gain a housing subsidy.
It was noted that it was not always possible to distinguish so clearly between the citizen and non-citizen in certain situations and furthermore she asked how the Bill was going to accommodate non-citizens.
Ms Chalmers suggested that "older persons" referred to those above the age of 60 who were citizens. She said that the provinces had noted that in a crisis situation one could not ask people to produce documentation, so "all older persons" would only include non-citizens in a crisis situation not with regards to provision of housing, for example.
Mr Du Preez replied that it was not his decision to make but that of the House. He felt that non-citizens should be included in the definition as there were other laws for grants and housing etc that excluded foreigners.
Mr Botes (Department of Social Development, Free State) noted this was a Human Rights issue and that one could not deny older persons protection and that one was obliged to deliver services.
Mr Masutha replied that although certain rights were universal a distinction should be made between the right to freedom from abuse, which was due to all, versus the right to the provision of certain services. He noted that they needed the input of the Department of Home Affairs and he doubted they had the constitutional right to all services available to ordinary citizens. He said that they needed to make sure that there should be no challenge to the Social Services Act in including others. Mr Masutha suggested that if at some particular point the definition of older persons caused a problem the House should look at it.
Mr Rule commented that the Bill should be applicable to all above the age of 60, except when applicable only to citizens.
Mr Rule referred to the last paragraph under the heading "Poverty and Food Insecurity" regarding education of the public in respect of correct nutritional and eating habits. He inquired if it is possible to legislate that the government be obliged to inform the elderly of this information. Ms J Chalmers (ANC) supported Mr Rules request.
Mr Du Preez replied that the issue was grey and questioned how the state would be able to do this without for example, obliging them to provide all households with television or radios.
Ms Chalmers replied that she was not refereeing the government being proactive but ensuring that there was a source available for information on older persons rights and available services.
Mr Rule noted that his request for ensuring the government disseminated information to older persons was covered under clause 5(c) of Chapter One of the Bill.
Mr Du Preez noted that some people were unhappy about the inclusion of the Minister having to establish a programme for access to knowledge, education and training (see Clause 5(c) of the Bill).
Ms Mentz suggested that "programme for" be deleted and noted that the Access to Information Act already provided for this, but suggested that "information" be added to " knowledge, education and training".
Ms Koornhof stressed that the Access to Information Act says one is able to access information but does not provide for those who are not empowered to know where to access it. Clause 5(c) was therefore very important, as it would hopefully be interpreted that the state should take the initiative in providing information for older persons.
Mr Masutha said that he was part of the committee that drew up the Access to Information Act. The Act was drawn up in the context of South Africa History of "non-information" and that it intended to provide a minimum right to information. However the Bill for older persons envisioned a developmental aspect to information, which actively breaks down ignorance to available services.
Ms Turok commented that access to information could not be subsumed under the broad umbrella of knowledge and training as access to information is more fundamental and needs a specific clause and added that that it must be legislated for.
Mr Du Preez asked how this was to be done and Mr Masutha added that the list of services that impact on the elderly was inexhaustible and that the Bill cannot legislate what was impossible but should provide for enabling mechanisms for information provision.
Ms Koornhof asked that the House at least add an addition clause below 5(c), which deals specifically with access to information for the elderly about relevant services and their rights. She mentioned that this was not impossible and used an example of providing information at pension pay points.
Ms Chalmers agreed and noted that it was a question of prioritisation and not that difficult to carry out.
Ms Koornhof also felt that they should mention, "retirement planning" as a separate point under clause 5 of the Bill so that the Minister may establish a relevant body.
The House noted that "retirement planning" mentioned in the Policy should be reflected in the Bill and that although it was possible to provide information about such planning at pay points they also needed to train people to cater for those who needed extra help with planning, those who were illiterate and those with little money to put away for retirement.
Mr Salojee commented that the elderly were at the mercy of both those who pick up the grants on their behalf and the government officials who issue them. Information about the necessary process and services was crucial for the elderly in dealing with these often intimidating situations.
Ms Bryan returned to the issue of retirement planning and said there should be a built in obligation on the part of employers to ensure their employees are aware of retirement planning.
Mr Masutha said that they should look at the Comprehensive Social Security System (CSSS) report (which the government still has to pronounce on), which recognised the gaps in the social security framework and may cover some of what was being mentioned. He returned to the issues of information versus knowledge and training and said that information is about access to services but that lidelong learning as mentioned in the Policy Document (Chapter Two: "Access to Knowledge, Education and Training") would involve the Department of Education and would thus require efforts between departments to be synergised.
Mr Mantata said that they need to be more appreciative of the fact that provision of information was not enough to ensure that the elderly were not treated as second class citizens, particularly when there were limited numbers of NGOs to support information dissemination and support for the elderly.
Dr Mahlangu asked if it were possible to legislate on the right to information and the right to access to retirement planning.
Mr Masutha noted that one way to address this was to use the clause 5 of the Bill, which enabled the Minister to create programmes that address access to information. He said that they also needed to look at what other departments are doing with regards to the education and reintegration of the elderly. He referred to the President's State of the Nation mention of the deployment of development workers as foot soldiers in the communities. He pointed to the possibilities of working with these development workers.
Mr Botes said that in the Free State when groups apply for funds or tender they have to stipulate how they will provide information and education to the elderly.
Mr Du Preez said he agreed with Mr Masutha in that they should be careful not to legislate that which looks good but cannot be implemented as had been done in the past.
Ms Turok suggested that they reduce the list of programmes the Minister should create in Clause 5 to ensure it does not merely read as a wish list.
Mr Masutha said that clause 5 needed fine-tuning. He suggested that this legislation confined itself to what Social Development had to do unless there were compelling reasons to mention other departments. They should also mention in the Bill when an issue had been catered for in another Bill.
Mr Rule agreed. He moved on to the section entitled "Emergency Situations" in Chapter Two of the Policy Document and asked if they should be specifically targeting older people in emergency situations.
Ms Chalmers asked if it was possible to legislate for such targeting as mentioned in that section.
Mr Masutha pointed out that disaster management was governed by a new legislative framework and that they should not disintegrate an existing framework but make recommendations to it.
Mr Du Preez said that disaster management referred to anyone made vulnerable by a disaster but the elderly nevertheless came last in such situations.
Mr Rule asked if was possible for workers in emergency situations to help the elderly first.
Mr Du Preez said that he doubted this would actually happen.
Mr Masutha said that emergency situations do not only refer to 'disasters' but also for example to a situation in which an old person would die if they did not receive shelter. He felt it was within the sphere of the Bill to mention this and that the Bill should empower departments at provincial level to provide for such emergencies.
Ms Mentz enquired how cross checking was carried out to see what had already been legislated for.
Mr Masutha said that Mr Du Preez asked for specificities to enable him to cross-reference. He said that this pointed to the relevance of having other departments involved to ensure they do not fragment existing systems.
Mr Rule referred to the mention of the discrimination between men and women on the basis of age in the current Social Assistance Act of 1992 (see section "Social Grant" in Chapter Two of the policy). He asked if this implied that the Social Assistance Act would be changed.
Mr Du Preez confirmed this.
Mr Rule asked who would be responsible for the promotion of retirement planning mentioned in the same section of Chapter Two.
Ms Turok said it should be the Labour Department.
Mr Masutha said that the CSSS report should be consulted regarding this as new laws may come into place. He suggested that they should state in the Policy that the new CSSS should make provision for the list of important issues they had identified in this policy.
Mr Rule moved on to Retirement Annuities as mentioned in the Policy Document (Chapter Two: "Social Grants") ands asked about increasing the tax-deductible allowance of R1750 to R3500 or 15% of non-retirement funding income.
Mr Masutha replied that he was not sure that the Bill should go into so much detail and that they would have to synergise this with other government policy.
Mr Rule said that the House could take out the specific figure that will be exempt from taxation. Changes of this nature would be dealt with in changes to Acts by the Department of Finance.
Mr Rule referred to Chapter Two's section on "Immigration" and said they needed to find out who (for example Home Affairs) would be responsible for the setting up of "Programmes that facilitate the integration of older migrants into the â€¦life of South Africa".
Mr Rule referred to the section: "Work and the aging labour force" in Chapter Two. He asked if it were possible to legislate on the following: "In line with the provisions of the Constitution, older persons should have the right to work and retire and there should be no discrimination against older persons in the labour market."
Mr Masutha gave examples illustrating the importance of dealing with the issue of the right of older persons to work. He also pointed out however that such issues were dealt with under the Employment Equity Act and Labour Relations Act. Unless the committee feels that there were gaps pertaining to older people within these acts they should not take the matter any further.
Mr Rule replied that there were gaps as employees can still prescribe the age of retirement and he suggested this should be outlawed.
Mr Masutha responded that there were two issues. The first referred to forcing a person to retire at a young age, which the Labour Court recognised as unfair practice and the second was about promoting an environment where older persons who had skills and experience could be reintegrated into productive life. He cautioned that they could not rewrite labour law.
Ms Bryan pointed out that this was an important issue especially in light of the AIDS pandemic, as many developing counties would be left with a relatively larger older population as younger people die.
Mr Masutha agreed but said that they could not unilaterally decide on the issue.
Meeting was adjourned for the day.
Ms Mahlangu (Chairperson) opened the meeting by introducing and welcoming everybody present.
Mr S Rule went through the changes that had been effected onto the draft Bill.
Ms I Mentz (DOSD) was concerned that all the issues were intersectoral and that if they were to focus on social development issues only, they would defeat their purpose.
Mr M Masutha said that as chapter two read, it was legally committing the Minister of Social Development to budget and provide as per the list, yet the list was multisectoral touching the services provided by other departments. He was concerned that in chapter two they ought to be looking at the role of Social Development exclusively. He also wanted clarity on whether the national office should run the programme or if they would look at subsidising the private sector that would deal with the program.
Further discussion clearly indicated that Social Development in South Africa was faced with a unique social challenge that they had to lead. Currently the bill was opening them up to all sorts of obligation whereas they had to think pragmatically what exactly the programme would be doing and if it fell under Social Development. They agreed that DOSD although the DOSD was not the only department it had the responsibility similar to that of a mother in that when everything in the system failed you, you could run to a safety net.
Of equal importance was that DOSD has the role of advocacy in that may not provide the service but facilitate the process. This would involve ensuring that other departments fulfilled their mandates and played their respective roles. Although the DOSD would support their roles Members still felt they needed emergency support systems.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Age In Action strongly felt that an underlying collaborative agreement. She sited housing as integral to community workers task and was concerned how they would ensure compliance.
Mr MV Ngema (IFP) felt that rather than wait to pick up the pieces after mistakes they need to be proactive and ensure that the other departments made provisions to cover the interests of Social Development.
Ms M Turok (Task Team)cautioned that they could not pass the buck on housing because they had committed themselves to housing in social development for the elderly; with reference to "Programmes for development of Older Persons"
Mr Masutha pointed out that there was a gap in the policy and the provision of services in housing subsidies .He said that as it stood it did not specify which category of older persons. This opened them up to litigation if the budget did not fulfil chapter one, clause five (h): the provision of basic affordable accommodation for older persons. He cautioned that the opening clause bound the Minister to having the budget and capacity for the program.
Ms SP Rwexana (ANC) raised her concerns that there should be no difference between giving unemployed persons subsidies and giving the same subsidies to elderly persons.
Members agreed that chapter one clause five should be rephrased to include the Minister collaborating and consulting with other relevant line function ministers. However, Age In Action CEO still felt that they needed to strengthen the hands of the Minister.
Concerns raised on chapter two were the use of manager when management would be more appropriate. It was felt that the Act could not give the responsibility to a manager hence reference must clearly be to an organisation. Also raised was that the chapter seemed to be dealing with just residential issues. Closer inspection of and discussion on the chapter got the members deciding that the chapter had been lifted from the old Act and needed a "savage" rewrite. It lacked emphasis on care and assisted living.
The Chairperson implored members to assist Pierre Dupreez (research team?) in the rewriting of the chapter and ensuring that it is not restricted to residential facilities that are not appropriate in some cultures. She felt that the thrust of this chapter should be on facilities and how they could broaden the range of facilities. She added that the rural bias should be visible: the witch craft issue which is a problem in the rural areas had to be addressed, safe havens may be needed in the rural areas, and the formulation of monitoring processes.
Mr M Masutha suggested that certain aspects of clause five could be taken out and dealt with in more detail in chapter two.
Age in Action CEO felt that a whole new chapter should be written on community based services.
In agreement Mr Botes said from pilot programmes they had learnt that there was a lot of confusion as to what community based care and support services was. He said it should be a package of services in one basket based on the needs of a community. He added that the community could be encouraged to make provision for their own retirement; be involved in community based services; and be involved in after hospital care for the elderly until their full recovery.
Ms U Mguye (DOSD) asked how they would deal with the destitution of the elderly indigence in rural areas who had no water or warmth. She was also concerned with what indigence policy meant to rural people.
It was suggested that clause five could cater for these concerns.
Mr Masutha said Chapter two needed to provide for the area of life and death emergency situations, as it might not be enough to play a facilitatory role. Some residual capacity was needed to respond, such as Social Relief of Distress. This could be a facility that could help people for of say three months with food, blankets or food.
Ms Mahlangu (Chairperson) pointed out that they should be wary of gender inequality focus of services when it came to elderly men. She said elderly men found it difficult to associate with the three levels: independent living, assisted living and, continuous care. In addition, she sought the issues that they were going to legislate.
Mr M Masutha highlighted that the policy section had a role to play by providing flesh for the chapter. Mr Dupreez's job was not to define policy but to translate it to legal language. Clear policy would then be drafted into legislation.
The chairperson raised concerns as to whether the range of services would include everybody within the borders of South Africa and not exclude elderly refugees, illegal aliens and temporary residents. She said she felt this was relevant to chapter two because this is where government money per capita would be spent.
Discussion on this issue concluded that an agreement with the Department of Home Affairs was needed and for them (Home Affairs) to see this as the social aspect of their work. Provisions of the Immigration Bill would be looked at.
Deliberations on the draft bill continued the following day.