The country’s oldest known citizen, Fredie Blom, from Delft, was showered with gifts and food parcels when he celebrated his 114th birthday in style on Tuesday.
Despite not yet being to be recognised by Guinness World Records, it is believed Blom could be the oldest man alive in the world.
He was born in 1904 in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape. He and his wife Jeanette have an age difference of 31 years and have no children together.
Fredie does not use a walking stick to get around, his vision is sharp and he can hear well.
He shared his birthday with family and neighbours, and Social Development MEC Albert Fritz visited him.
“I am this age today because I respect people. In the old days we did not eat everything, like it is today.
“I take regular exercise by going to the shops instead of sending other people. Today is special, I feel honoured,” said Blom.
“It is rare for anyone to live this long, and I thank God for taking care of me all these years. I have survived many challenges and experienced difficulties all these years,” he said.
His advice to young people was to show respect to their elders.
Jeanette said she was grateful to have met him.
“Our age difference is huge, but we are both old. He is kind and respects me. People don’t believe it when they are told his age,” she said.
Fritz said his department provided services to older people, and efforts were made to register them for residential care facilities, especially for frail older people.
He said there were 119 state-funded registered residential facilities, and 72 private registered facilities in the Western Cape.
He wished Fredie and his family well with their celebrations.