Military veteran pensions on administrative hold

15625

Military veterans now have to wait for ministerial approval before the “payment process” for pensions can be started, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) has heard.

This was one of five “outstanding administrative issues” presented by the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) to last week’s PCDMV meeting. The ministerial approval has to come from Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana.

Other outstanding issues are “gazetting” of signed military veteran pension (MVP) regulations; appointing a military veteran appeal board (MVAB); signing an “addendum to address the administration fee payment”; and “resuscitating” the verification process that is the national military veterans’ database.

On the positive side of the ledger, GPAA informed chair Cyril Xaba and his committee over 15 000 applications have been received with “capture and issue” of MVP numbers started in April and the ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure to handle pension payments is “finalised and ready”. Included but not as positive was that GPAA is “unable to admit members due to administrative issues”.

These were given in June by Deputy President Paul Mashatile as a reason for the delay in payment of veterans’ pensions. The special pensions for properly verified and registered old soldiers were made public in December by Mashatile, who took over the specialist Presidential military veterans’ task team following the departure of his predecessor David Mabuza.