Pilot project to help pensioners earn some cash in tough times
In the face of financial insecurity, Durban pensioners will learn how to become entrepreneurs as part of a pilot project to help them supplement their state grants.
The project is driven by The Association for the Aged (Tafta) with the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship (GIEE).
According to Tafta, statistics reveal:
- only 6% of the population is able to retire comfortably;
- as many as 50% of South Africans don’t have a retirement plan, with women being less likely to save than men;
- many older South Africans are still supporting dependents as well as themselves; and
- about 3.6-million people are dependent on the government old age grant.
The pilot programme aims to promote the economic empowerment of older people by exploring the opportunities of setting up their own businesses.
“The promotion of business skills in our elder generation is a proactive approach to meeting their financial needs,” said Tafta CEO Femada Shamam.
“Many older people have limited income and, in most cases, it is only the state old age grant which is used to meet their daily living expenses.
“It’s no secret that the world’s population is ageing. In SA, the percentage of people aged 60 and over grew from 7.2% in 2002 to 9.1% in 2022.
“This project [is] premised on the rights of elders to dignity and respect. We are hopeful that participating in the programme will not only help older people earn extra income but will also promote wellbeing by alleviating feelings of loneliness, exclusion and distress.
“It also has the potential to contribute to job creation, impacting on the wider community.”
It was launched last week as part of a build-up to SA’s Week Of Older Persons, which will be commemorated from October 3 to 9.
“Those who attended the launch were encouraged to imagine the possibilities of using their life experiences as a foundation for entrepreneurship,” said Shamam.
They will be invited to attend 12 workshops hosted at Tafta’s Langeler Towers.
“During these workshops they will be introduced to entrepreneurship, orientated on entrepreneurial culture and will be coached on successful pitching and turning failures into lessons.”
The elderly will also learn about branding and how to manage finances.
“Following the pilot at Tafta, this programme will be rolled out to communities, encouraging intergenerational opportunities with the possibility of a sponsored startup.”