The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) should be accorded a high priority by government as the majority of its area of responsibility is seen to be in aiding and assisting veterans of former liberation movements and military wings.
A stated intention in being able to fulfil this task is to have an accurate database of veterans, their records and personal information including age, contact, education levels and heath details, among others. This commitment saw the DMV, the second major component of Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s portfolio, partner with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) in June 2017 to develop “a credible, secure and reliable National Military Veterans database/system (e-DMV) to ensure efficient and effective service delivery”.
Five months short of two years later the project, a SITA presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) showed, was put on hold. Committee members heard it was resuscitated last September with a project kick-off session, allocation of a project team, timelines set and the scope “re-affirmed”. Encouraging for those supposed to benefit from National Treasury’s allocation to military veterans comes in the form of a SITA confirmation of “weekly governance meetings to track progress” and an aim to deliver “critical modules” in the current financial year.
Phase One of the DMV/SITA collaboration has completed or is working on registration, healthcare, counselling and treatment, housing, basic and tertiary education, payment, compensation and burial support and honouring (usually termed memorialisation by the DMV) modules.
Phase Two has four modules – training and skills development, facilitating business opportunities and employment as well as transport and pension. Their analysis and design, according to SITA, is set down for the 2022/23 financial year.