/ 12 July 2008

A better country for old men

The Act that qualifies men to apply for the state old-age grant from the age of 60 has been signed into law, Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya announced on Friday.

From Monday July 14, men of 64 and 63 years will be able to apply for old-age pension in the first phase of the Act’s implementation.

”This is certainly welcome news as it will bring much-needed relief for over 125 000 senior citizens. It is especially good news in the context of rising food, petrol and other basic commodities,” said Skweyiya.

The old-age pension is now R940 and, according to Skweyiya, the government has set aside R800-million for extending the pension to these elderly citizens.

”The coming into law of the Act marks a milestone in our endeavours to expand the social safety net.

”Men aged 62 and 61 will be able to apply for the pension as from April 2009, and in 2010 the eligibility age will be equal between men and women.

”In terms of the implementation, it is all systems go and I encourage those who qualify to visit their nearest South African Social Security Agency offices. If they don’t come to us, we will go out there and look for them,” said Skweyiya. — Sapa