Margaret Maritz turns 115, making her the oldest living person in Western Cape
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CAPE TOWN - On a very special birthday, Margaret Maritz from Touws River turned 115 years old with a bash at the old age home that included many of the town’s residents and a visit from Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu.
Born in 1906, it is believed that Maritz is the oldest living resident in the Western Cape, after Delft resident Freddie Blom died last month at the age of 116.
Sitting pretty in white donning a pink sash and pink crown, Maritz was relaxed and observant of her surroundings on Monday.
She is not able to verbally communicate as well any longer.
Described as a woman who commanded the same respect she showed others, Maritz had grown up assisting her parents with the upbringing of her 13 siblings.
“We were eight brothers and six sisters. We grew up in Sutherland in the Northern Cape. She was a very good sister to me. When we did wrong she set us straight,” her 74-year-old brother Abraham Nel said.
Her daughter Getruida Maritz said that her mother was a wonderful woman.
“She is a very wonderful woman, she was not one for trouble, she is the oldest. All she did for me she did well. We were from a farm those years.”
Zulu said the occasion kicked off Social Development Month in October, celebrated to mark government’s commitment to caring for the most vulnerable.
“It’s exciting for us to be here today. This celebration is 115 years of living, 115 of the life of Margaret.
“She looks so bright and attentive. She can still hear and she can still see.
“We have to show care and reach out to the frail care centres taking care of the elderly because they are an extension of the work that we have to do, being responsible for the wellbeing of our citizens.”
Zulu highlighted that there were still millions of people suffering and called on residents, the private sector and the government to do something for the elderly in their local communities.
“The government gives old age grants, we know that money is extended to all family members they do not get to enjoy.
“But they took care of us. Now it is our time to give back and take care of them. Its only 26 years of democracy, many did not enjoy anything in their lives as they were part of the apartheid struggle, so many are retiring with nothing.”