Home South African WATCH: Elderly demand an increase in pension plus 13th cheque

WATCH: Elderly demand an increase in pension plus 13th cheque

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At least 100 elderly people traveled from as far as KwaZulu-Natal, the Vaal and Tembisa to join forces with pensioners in Tshwane to convince the government to increase their meagre R1 780 pension to R2 500.

Pensioners stage a sit in outside the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni's office to demand pension be increased to R2500, and an annual 13th cheque. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Pretoria – With Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni expected to deliver his budget speech next week, pensioners seeking significant pension increases staged a sit-in outside the Department of Finance on Church Square. 

At least 100 elderly people traveled from as far as KwaZulu-Natal, the Vaal and Tembisa to join forces with pensioners in Tshwane to convince the government to increase their meagre R1 780 pension to R2 500. 

Blocking the entrance to the building they demanded Mboweni increase their pension and also to give them a 13th cheque every year. 

They said their pension was not enough to cope with the inflation rate and that subjected them to poverty. 

They said it could not be right that a government that sought and fought for the R3 500 minimum wage for working class workers wanted it’s elderly citizens to survive on just 50% of the minimum wage.

Pensioners stage a sit in outside the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni’s office to demand pension be increased to R2500, and an annual 13th cheque. Video: James Mahlokwane

The pensioners had a banner encouraging the government to tax the rich and bail out the gogos. 

They said pensioners could not work because of their age, even if they wanted to. 

They said the demonstration was not about asking for handouts because even though they were never affluent people, they spent their working lives paying taxes. 

They said it was about time the government showed that it cared about the elderly who break their backs for this country.

The crowd sang that they were tired of eating chicken feet, beans and atchar just to stretch out the R1780 for 30 days a month.

Leading the crowd was campaigner Noxolo Mfocwa Amandla Mobi who said this movement was initiated by the elderly from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal but has spread out countrywide.

“Today we are joined by those pensioners from KwaZulu-Natal who are here to submit a memorandum with over 51 000 signatures of ordinary South Africans who support this call. 

“The pensioners are taking care of a lot of children and grandchildren who cannot find work in this country. 

“When clinics do not have medication, they take from our R1780 and pay for that. 

“When unemployed youth want to print CVs and go to interviews, it’s these gogos and mkhulus who dig into their pockets to finance that.”


Pretoria News