(The essence of my Members statement delivered to the Provincial Parliament of the Western Cape on 10 May 2012)
It is undisputed that poverty and unemployment remains high among South Africa’s most burning issues, especially given its impact on the youth. According to various studies, including this one unemployment has risen by an average of 3,8% per year since 1981, directly impacting the population below the poverty line. Given this and more, our senior citizens are amongst the most vulnerable in society.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of situations we could all highlight, I wish to bring the attention of this House to the plight of Christine, a 67 year old lady living on Brooklyn, Cape Town, with her disabled son and granddaughter, all living on R2,000 per month. My attention was first drawn to her situation when I read a letter to the editor of the Cape Argus (23 April 2012 edition). The letter explains how, to-date, and in spite of her best efforts, Christine is yet to receive assistance from ‘the authorities’ even whilst she now also faces eviction residential dislocation right as winter approaches. Her situation is not new or unique, yet urgent action is required nonetheless.
Cynthia, who wrote the letter using the pseudonym ‘Hope Eternal’, explains how she has stepped in to assist Christine in whichever way she can regardless of self-limitations. Whilst highlighting Christines plight to a much larger forum, she has not only appealed for others assist, but, crucially, she has already begun acting on her commitment: ‘I will make it my mission to help her.’
The ACDP applauds Cynthia’s selfless service to others, and all those around us, who do so much good for so many, often unrecognised and under-appreciated. We appeal to all in South Africa to purposefully choose to sustainably impact those in need around us, particularly the most vulnerable.