DMV delivering skills development, business facilitation programmes – Modise

666

According to Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise, her ministry has progressed in a number of areas pertaining to benefits for old soldiers.

Answering a question asked by ANC (African National Congress) Eastern Cape parliamentarian Mike Basopu, she said 2 442 military veterans were approved for skills development programmes run by the Department of Military Veterans (DMV). The programme aims to integrate veterans into what Modise terms “the domestic work force”.

Also in the economic sphere, 117 veterans were given “access to business facilitation programmes” with a further 146 receiving security training from the Passenger Rail Agency (PRASA) in Western Cape. This initiative was made public by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula in March and will see veterans working alongside railway police on long distance rail corridors. It is, according to him, one of a number of interventions to strengthen security for “public assets” of physical infrastructure including rails, electronic switching equipment, pylons and towers, buildings and millions of kilometres of cabling in the national rail network.

The DMV has been active in negotiations with national and provincial departments.

One negotiation saw the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport commit to 14 contracts with military veterans. Another led to 250 old soldiers “absorbed” into the eThekwini Council. They will work in the municipal water and sanitation, parks and recreation, health, human settlements, security management, electricity and “community participation” departments/units.

In Eastern Cape, 10 military veterans were trained in poultry, piggery and boer goat production animal husbandry with a further 15 receiving instruction in crop production management, aquaculture and “gas processing from cattle dung” at Fort Cox College.

On houses for military veterans, Modise told her questioner 71 were handed to old soldiers in the 2021/22 financial year “across all provinces”. “Fifteen houses were built for veterans in quarter one of the 2022/23 financial year” Basopu was told.