Properly registered military veterans will now be able to access certain benefits, notably those pertaining to education, without having to travel to the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) head office in Pretoria.
The decision to decentralise benefits starts with a pilot project for education support.
According to the DMV “it previously served its constituency through the Pretoria head office. This proved a burden to a majority of military veterans who live far from the main office”.
“To mitigate this, the DMV decided to start decentralising benefits to provinces starting with education support as the most sought after benefit.
“Information relating to basic and tertiary education support benefit is now available in all nine provinces, including some outcome letters for the current year. The DMV is addressing infrastructure challenges in provinces currently without offices. Requisite support has been sent to all provinces to ease decentralisation. The decentralisation started in mid-January, with other benefits gradually moving to provinces as they are capacitated,” the department said.
The DMV goes on to note there are outstanding invoices and payments for both tertiary and basic education.
“These are being processed as a matter of urgency, with officials visiting schools nationally to accelerate the process. Support for finalisation of payment of all outstanding fees has been sought from some provincial departments, with requests for transfer of school fees to provinces in progress.
“In processing 2020 school fees the DMV has engaged Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State and Eastern Cape provincial governments to process payments for dependants in public and independent subsidised schools.
“To align its tertiary education support threshold, the DMV has benchmarked with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). A decision was taken for the 2020 academic year to increase the threshold to R88 600.
The DMV makes it clear there will be no support for “any learner/student for 2020, if the military veteran has not produced the unabridged birth certificate, with insertion or legal proof of guardianship for the dependent”.
Where there is proof of illegality or misrepresented information, the matter will be treated as fraud and handed to the relevant law enforcement authorities for further action, the DMV said.