Department of Social Development Leaders

Minister for Social Development
Deputy Minister for Social Development
Mr. Linton Mchunu
Acting: Director General for Social Development

28 July 2023




 The National and Provincial Departments of Social Development, in partnership with Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality and Sello Maake kaNcube Foundation will lead the celebration of 113th birthday of Koko Mashienyane Boshielo who lives in Mphanama Village, Limpopo Province.


Koko Mashienyane Boshielo was born in 1910, the same year that the colonial regime formally established the Union of South Africa and the founding of the Union Buildings in Pretoria. She was later married and blessed with two children and 7 grandchildren.


Koko Mashienyane lived through historic milestones such as World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1934-1945), 1918 influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu, the enactment of the apartheid regime (1948), the dawn of democracy in 1994 and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.


Despite her advanced age of 113 years, Koko Mashienyane proudly mentions that she has never been diagnosed with any chronic illness and uses a wheelchair to move around. She is still able to feed herself and walk short distances with the aid of her daughter, who is her primary caregiver.

Today’s celebration will be attended by 150 older persons in Mphanama Village. This forms part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to promote the wellbeing of older persons in communities. The Department is currently conducting public hearings on the Older Persons Amendment Bill, which aims to strengthen the protection and prevention of abuse of older persons, eliminate harmful cultural practices, including witchcraft accusation and recognise their contribution in passing on inter-generational knowledge and wisdom.

“As the custodian of the Older Persons Act, which promotes and protect the rights of older persons, we felt that something ought to be done to record our profound gratitude and respect for Koko Mashienyane and other senior citizens who have reached and surpassed the age of 100 and still counting. We do this as a token of our admiration for Koko Mashienyane and other older persons for having lived through both the worst and best of times in our country”, said Minister Zulu.

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the celebration as follows:


Date:​​Friday, 28 July 2023


Venue:​​Mphanama Community Hall, Limpopo Province

Members of the media can RSVP by contacting Ms Sharlene Naiker on 082 673 5849 / e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Mr Jaconia Kobue: 063 249 5120/email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Media enquiries may be directed to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.