South Africa has 80 000 plus military veterans


Introducing its latest (2020/21) annual performance plan (APP), the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) notes it is “working to improve and sustain the livelihoods of military veterans’ community”.

This it aims to achieve by facilitating delivery of benefits and co-ordinating “all activities that recognise and entrench the restoration of dignity and appreciation of the contribution of military veterans to South Africa’s freedom and nation building”.

The APP has it that South Africa’s military veteran community comes from 10 different forces. They are, or were, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the SA Defence Force (SADF), Transkei Defence Force (TDF), Venda Defence Force (VDF), Azanian Peoples’ Liberation Army (APLA), SA National Defence Force (SANDF), Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF), Ciskei Defence Force (CDF), Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA) and the Union Defence Force (UDF).

All told the national database of South African military veterans numbers close to 81 000 with the majority – 41 446 – from the former SADF. The current national defence force contributes 14 804 with APLA contributing 5 284 and MK 13 473. Two former homeland defence forces, Transkei (1 980) and Bophuthatswana (1 794) each add a thousand plus to the national military veteran population.

The DMV is continuously working on updating its database to provide benefits to all registered military veterans and notes the number published is not static due to continued retirements from the SANDF and registered veterans not updating their profiles in the DMV database.

DMV service delivery is, according to the APP, rooted in people first (Batho Pele) principles with five over-reaching values. These are integrity, compassion, honesty, professionalism and commitment and accountability.

“The DMV is working on ensuring there is enabling legislation, regulations, policies, relevant systems, infrastructure and organisational design to ensure an effective and efficient functional department with capable human capital that will assist improving service delivery to the Military Veterans’ community. The strength of departmental infrastructure and systems are key to the delivery and to the realisation of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework (IGR) to accelerate delivery of services to military veterans and their dependents,” the APP, which was tabled at a Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV), states. According to Parliament’s official website the committee is scheduled to be briefed by the DMV on the APP on Friday, 1 May.