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Older Persons Amendment Bill Tabled

May 5, 2022

Parliament

The Older Persons Amendment Bill has been tabled in parliament.

The social development department published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 46032 in March 2022.

The bill was published for comment in 2017.

Cabinet approved the proposed legislation in August 2021 for tabling in parliament.

In a statement at the time, cabinet declared that the amendments “seek to strengthen measures that protect older persons. It improves the services offered to older persons such as social support, health, community-based and residential-based care”.

Cabinet added that the proposed bill also introduces the monitoring and evaluation of services offered to older persons.

“It also provides for the removal of older persons with disabilities from a hostile or unhealthy environment without obtaining a Court Order.”

The bill aims to amend the Older Persons Act, 2006, so as to:

• insert new definitions;
• insert new provisions relating to the monitoring and evaluation of all services to older persons and for the removal of older persons to a temporary safe care without a court order;
• tighten up the existing implementation and compliance measures;
• effect some textual amendments for greater clarity; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the bill’s explanatory memorandum, challenges in relation to the implementation of the Older Persons Act manifested after 2010 when the act came into effect.

Challenges include institutional, coordination mechanisms and compliance measures.

The bill is designed to ensure that “older persons are provided with quality services and are afforded the necessary protection by society, including community-based and residential care facilities”.

The portfolio committee on social development will process the bill.