Mr. Jongi Ganyile holds an Honors and Masters degree in Development Studies acquired from the University of South Africa and the University of KwaZulu-Natal respectively. He has worked extensively as a researcher in the academic, public and private sectors for the past almost 2 decades where his research interests have been in social and economic and industrial development. In the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, he has worked in policy development space developing, among other things, the Care Economy Strategy for Gauteng.
The economic benefits of investing in long term care in the Gauteng Global City Region
Ganyile Jongi, Gauteng Department of Economic Development, South Africa
Kgothatso Masinga, Gauteng Department of Economic Development, South Africa
Populations around the world are ageing rapidly and this demographic transition is placing new demands on societies to provide comprehensive systems for long-term care at home, in communities or in institutions. Long-term care involves a variety of services rendered to people, mostly frail and disabled, to help them live their lives as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own due to advanced age or permanent disability.
Formal long-term care providers might be skilled health or social workers that are employed, and informal care providers include unpaid family workers and paid caregivers who work outside formal employment regulations. According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) 2020 population estimates, the mid-year population in South Africa is estimated to be 59,62 million, with approximately 15,5 million people (26,0%) living in the Gauteng Province. It further shows that there are 5.5 million people aged 60 years and above, and of these, 1.3 million (25%) reside in Gauteng. Additionally, life expectancy at birth has been increasing continuously for the past two decades both for the country and the province.
The province is the economic powerhouse of the country but nonetheless experiences unrelenting challenge of creating employment for its ever-expanding population. The presence of long-term care needs in Gauteng presents a window of opportunity for decent employment creation. Furthermore, creating tailor-made interventions to support the care sector is envisaged to have long term benefits in that the beneficiaries of informal care will begin to receive professional care thereby improving the quality of life. This requires adopting relevant policies, massive investment in infrastructure, technology, training and policy alignment with the national, provincial and the local spheres of government.