SANMVA is “managing body” for military veterans – Mabuza

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The SA National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA) is the body managing the affairs of old soldiers, Deputy President David Mabuza has said in reply to one of six questions asked by Parliamentarians in the National Assembly.

Addressing military veterans’ concerns ranging from education, housing, heritage, pension and other benefits as well as institutional support, government’s number two said, among others, “provisioning of military pension, as provided for by current legislation, is at an advanced stage”.

On the Military Veterans Amendment Bill, Mabuza told his questioner that Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise “has taken an approach emphasising the importance of an extensive definition of a military veteran and the qualifying criteria for beneficiaries”. The military veterans’ component of her ministry is currently ensuring all inputs are incorporated into the amendment bill.

On the military veterans’ presidential task team, headed by him, Mabuza said “extensive consultations were held with different military veterans’ associations”. These brought home the need for different spheres of government to collaborate in “accelerating” delivery of benefits to old soldiers.

“Advancing this, holistic and integrated approach work streams drawn from a cross-section of government departments and provinces are seized with the tasks of resolving issues raised by military veterans,” Mabuza’s response read, adding “significant progress” has been made on “specific challenges”.

One is the pension policy for military veterans with previous “inadequacies” targeted. Discussions between the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) and National Treasury regarding “provisioning” of military pensions under current legislation are “advanced”.

Indications are the Military Veterans’ Amendment Bill, with input such as a socio-economic impact assessment and certification by the Chief State Law Advisor, will go to Cabinet in the third quarter of this year with a period for public comment to follow.