The young working generation has been advised that pensioners had the foresight to educate them even though they themselves never had the opportunity to be educated. They deserve support and respect in retirement.
This was said by Elias Masilela, Executive Chairman of DNA Economics during the second annual commemoration of the Day of the older persons at Ave Maria the past Thursday.
But in their educated stupor, he said the younger generation turns around and forgets that they are where they are because of their parents. This is because they think their so called ‘uneducated parents’ cannot know more than they do. They cannot distinguish between education and wisdom. The elderly have rich wisdom.
He commended the elderly for the role they played in the present status of Africa, socially, economically and politically.
“Your role in the future of our economies is critical. Like insurance, we may not fully appreciate not being insured and you are faced with an insurable experience. You need to be a young parent without your own mother, to guide you on how to raise your children, to appreciate the value of wisdom. The same applies at national level, when we have to make pertinent decisions that will affect society and markets, this wisdom cannot be traded for anything,” he said, adding that this is not only about education, but fundamentally about experience.
He said the elderly’s role goes beyond the household. They leave the continent of Africa with legacy of: liberating Africa; changing relationship with colonial masters and setting the foundation for growing wealth and leading the future.
“Many of you never had the opportunity to study and earn degrees and PHDs but you had the wisdom of prioritizing education for us. You were wise enough to realize that the most effective instrument to sustainably undo the shackles of colonialism is education and skills. We thank you for the enduring freedom you bequeathed-politically, socially and financially,” he said.
Masilela said there was need to celebrate the elderly’s personal sacrifices, of over 100 years. Many of them did not have pension or Retirement Annuity to talk about. They could not afford the accumulation but had emphasis on feeding, clothing, housing and educating their children. That was investment. An invaluable investment for future generations! Unlike many parents today, who are driven by instant gratification, they were selfless.
“Those who were better positioned, did all the above and went a step further to accumulate a bed of pension resources which today do not only give us an insurance buffer, but also investment choices. Yesterday you bequeathed free nations, today you bequeath financial wealth, in the form of pension resources,” said Masilela. He added that the resources have deepened the struggle the elderly started ÔÇôthat of reducing dependency on colonial masters for investment resources.
“We can now rely on our savings (domestic savings to fund the investment we need. This is because of the sacrifices you made for us,” he said.
He said as the younger generation they hope to take over responsibly and not thrash the family’s silver.
“We will thrive to follow in your foot steps and perfect the noble intent. Our commitment to investing sustainably will ensure your retirement is secured and comfortable. You should not only retire comfortable but also transition with pride, dignity and confidence that what you have bequeathed shall be in good hands,” he said.