'The history of our struggle for freedom and democracy cannot be told in its entirety without paying tribute to the bravery and selflessness of military veterans.'

There is a total of 44,369 military veterans whose details are in the certified personnel register, who already qualify to receive benefits as prescribed in the legislation, according to Deputy President David Mabuza.

Question and Answer session

Mabuza, who was answering questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, stated that since November 2020, the Presidential Task Team on Military Veterans has held continuous provincial consultations with various military veterans associations in order to solicit concerns and grievances of military veterans.

Thus far, the process has been successful especially in the socio-economic support, housing and pension benefits, according to Mabuza.

“The Presidential Task Team has held consultations with premiers and representatives of military veterans in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, the North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Western Cape and most recently, in KwaZulu-Natal. We are also planning to visit the Northern Cape province before the end of November 2022.”

“Through these consultations, we are able to consolidate the concerns of military veterans on a variety of issues, including but not limited to the housing and pension benefits. The consultations have also assisted us a great deal in understanding challenges faced by Military Veterans better, some of which, may require policy intervention,” he said.

Housing

Mabuza also said that the provisioning of the housing benefit to military veterans was regulated by a housing policy that has been approved by the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans which stipulated that military veterans are eligible to receive a house of 50 square metres.

Healthcare benefit

“With regards to the provisioning of the Health-Care Benefit, all military veterans can access support from the South African Military Services. Currently it is only military veterans, and not their spouses or dependents, that are eligible for assistance. This is a challenging situation for our military veterans, which we are still addressing.”

Repatriating the remains of fallen veterans

“In addition to the work we have outlined above, the Department of Military Veterans is working with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture on the programme of repatriating the remains of the fallen Military Veterans that have been left behind in other countries.

“A cost-effective model for the repatriation of the remains of our fallen heroes and heroines is currently being considered for Cabinet approval.”

“Working together with Military Veterans will hopefully provide positive results that contribute to their well-deserved socioeconomic improvement.”

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