Defence Minister to answer National Council of Provinces questions


The military veterans’ component of Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s portfolio will be to the fore on Thursday when she answers questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

After a period of seemingly zero activity the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) is gaining traction. This is illustrated, firstly, by presidential action which sees Deputy President David Mabuza heading up a Cyril Ramaphosa-announced military veterans presidential task team and the Cabinet announcement of a permanent director general for the DMV. Irene Mpolweni moved into the Hatfield, Pretoria, DMV headquarters earlier this month succeeding two acting directors general – retired general Derrick Mgwebi and Max Ozinsky, a former ANC public representative in Western Cape.

Mapisa-Nqakula has to respond to six questions with two directly concerning military veterans.

Limpopo ANC NCOP Mamagase Nchabeleng member wants her to elucidate on action government is planning to assist veterans with, among others, medical care, housing and “better living conditions”.

More comprehensive and wider provision of DMV services is the crux of EFF member Kenny Motsamai’s question. He wants the Minister to inform the NCOP of plans to expand DMV offices across all nine provinces and what services old soldiers will be able to access at these offices once open.

Other questions coming Mapisa-Nqakula’s way are about preventing further reductions in the defence budget, actions taken to ensure qualified Auditor General audits do not happen again and “intervention measures to improve the intake of women and young people in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF)”.