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Growing Old Gracefully: The Role of Old Age Pension in Lesotho

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Author:
Pius T. Tanga Department of Social Work/Social Development, University of Fort Hare South Africa ptangwe@ufh.ac.za

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The introduction of an old age pension in Lesotho in November 2004 brought relief and hope to the elderly. The paper examines how the old age pension has helped in the acquisition of material goods, increased access to health care and, most importantly, strengthened the status of the elderly in their households. Two hundred and fifteen old age pension recipients in rural areas were interviewed. Results show that the elderly now participate more in household decision-making and contribute towards income and community projects. The poverty and hunger vulnerability existing before the pension have been halved. Pensioners play an increasing role in the care of orphans and vulnerable children. This has boosted pensioners’ self-esteem and strengthened respect given to them. Although the pension is seen as meagre, elections results show the efforts of the government continue to be highly appreciated. The paper concludes the old age pension has empowered the elderly and helps them live a more graceful life.

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