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Department of Military Veterans faces challenges to meet education benefits

Military veterans education benefitThe Department of Military Veterans (DMV) is, according to acting director retired general Derrick Mgwebi, looking at solutions to ensure it can continue its education support benefit for qualifying military veterans and their dependents.

This would see the DMV “solicit” support from the private sector and State-owned entities to “reduce the constraints of restricted financial resources” SAnews report.

The DMV, according to the government news agency, will next year not accept new applications for education support but existing education support allocations will be honoured.

“The decision not to accept new applications follows intense discussions and deliberations between the DMV, the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans, the SA National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA) and the advisory council, where it was decided to hold back on new applications until an economically viable solution is found.”

“The department remains committed to providing education support to all qualifying military veterans and their dependants. The department will open applications for all qualifying continuing learners and students for the academic year 2019,” Mgwebi said.

According to him, Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is engaging her counterparts in the departments of Higher Education and Training, Basic Education and National Treasury to find sustainable solutions.

Mgwebi said students and learners currently funded by the DMV will continue to receive financial support for the duration of their studies.

The DMV will embark on provincial roadshows to speak with military veterans and their dependants about the challenges to find better and sustainable solutions.

“An integrated team has been established with stakeholders such as SANMVA and the advisory council to assist with finding lasting solutions,” Mgwebi said.

To date the DMV has provided R142 million worth of assistance to about 5 800 education support beneficiaries against an initial budget of R26.4 million in both basic and tertiary education.

 

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