The most senior public servant in the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) notes in his report as accounting officer in the latest annual report for the 2019/20 financial year, it considers progress made in delivering on its vision of “a dignified, unified, empowered and self-sufficient military veterans’ community”.
Preceding retired SA Army three-star general Derrick Mgwebi’s report is a lengthy list of human resource oversight statistics pertaining to DMV staff. These are contained in 57 tables ranging from personnel expenditure and personnel costs per salary band through to employment, vacancies, disciplinary steps, employee profiles, staff turnover rates, recruitment, promotions, skills development, disciplinary action, performance rewards, foreign workers, misconduct, strike actions and training needs.
Other components of DMV operations including administration and important to the South African military veterans’ community are socio-economic support (SES), empowerment and stakeholder management (ESM) and capital investment. Both SES and ESM are sub-divided into tables listing mitigation strategies and expenditure.
In his report Mgwebi lists priority one as acquisition of a fully functional department with systems and processes to realise a separate vote. “Realisation of a fully functional department with systems, especially transversal systems, has been negatively affected by finalisation of the structure.”
He points to progress in “reconfirmation of the service delivery model flowing from proposals made by the military veterans’ task team report” adding further engagement with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) will finalise “an appropriate organisational structure for the DMV”. Ahead of this “various levels of support have been solicited from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to service delivery of benefits”.
On benefits Mgwebi reports some mileage made with provision of health support. “Achievements made are at varying levels regarding comprehensive delivery of benefits to military veterans and their dependents. It is worth registering the achievements registered were made possible by support provided by the SANDF at tactical and strategic levels including among others, the Council on Defence (COD).”
The national military veterans’ database has been a thorn in the side of the DMV virtually since the date of its establishment and this is also noted by Mgwebi who refers to “project frustration” in the creation of “a reliable and secure integrated dataset for benefits management”.