The government of the Western Cape adopted its own constitution in 1998. Chapter 10 requires this government to actively promote and maintain the welfare of its people. This includes achieving an environment in which frail and elderly persons have access to family or alternative care, basic services and protection from ill-treatment, neglect and abuse.
The WCOPF was formed in 2007 to be the eyes and ears of older persons in the province. It is a registered non-profit organization which interacts with provincial government to ensure the needs of older persons are met and their rights protected. The WCOPF elected its first Board at an AGM on 24 November 2009. In July 2010 WCOPF appointed a Coordinator and an office was opened in January 2011.
WCOPF is actively engaged in:
- establishing regional, district and local forums throughout the province .
- promoting and distributing the Older Persons Charter
- engaging with the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) to improve the pension-payment system in the province.
- Ensuring that Older Persons Act 13 of 2006 is implemented in the province.
The purpose of the WCOPF is to inform older persons of their rights, advocate on their behalf and lobby for the observance and implementation of their rights.