Following a public outcry in 2000, the Minister of Social Development commissioned an investigation into the abuse, neglect and ill-treatment of older persons.

Public hearings were held in all provinces and older persons told of the abuse they suffered at the hands of their families, communities and government officials. A report was published in 2003, “Mothers and fathers of  the Nation, the forgotten people”, that called for action to make the concerns of older persons a priority and to improve the quality of their lives.