Financial training for elders receiving the government old age pension would help ensure that pensioners use their money for its intended purpose.
This is the opinion of Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency Councillor Elias !Kharuxab, who says training pensioners in basic budgeting and financial management is of great importance, as it will equip them with the necessary knowledge to manage their finances and will in the long run help in the journey towards prosperity, as the money received would be well spent.
Speaking to New Era while serving bread and soup to pensioners gathered at Nampost office at Keetmanshoop on Tuesday, !Kharuxab said in some cases the elderly do not know how best to use their pension grants and some even end up spending it on alcohol or gambling away the little they get.
This, he says, is fueling a cycle of poverty, as many pensioners do not get out of the poverty circle, because the little money they get is not being used for the pensioners’ personal development and for their own needs.
“It’s a bad situation and people remain poor, because some pensioners go straight to shebeens and drink and gamble,” he remarked. He is, however, confident the situation can be rectified with financial literacy training for the elders, saying it is important to teach them how to budget to ensure they use their pensions to their benefit and to alleviate poverty.
!Kharuxab also commended the staff of //Karas Regional Council for coming up with the initiative as a way of giving back something to the elderly, whom he said are the ones who for many have made the future possible and brighter. He said about N$6 000 was used to treat the elders to breakfast on Tuesday as a token of appreciation for what they have done in the lives of so many.
He further indicated that this is just the start, as the regional council aims to assist the elders to ensure that they get their pensions in a suitable environment without stress, hunger and long queues.
Pensioners New Era spoke to were thankful for the treat, saying it’s needed as they sometimes have to wait all day long just to get their pension money and it is far better and easier to wait on a full stomach. “It’s nice. We’re very happy. When its pay day we usually hurry and don’t even have breakfast at our houses, so it’s good to get some food here,” said a grateful 74-year-old Sophia Hartsenberg.
The regional council employees were serving the elders from as early as 06h00 on the day.