The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) has gone live with a call centre to provide veterans with “easy, quick and free access” to information about benefits and services.
DMV spokesman Mbulelo Musi said the centre went “live” on Tuesday and veterans or family members can now channel all enquiries through 080 232 3244.
“The call centre will assist the DMV to deliver services to veterans faster and smarter. It is a service military veterans have been asking for over the past few years.
“We are happy to at last be addressing this long awaited service for information about military veterans and other relevant information. We call on military veterans, their dependents and other stakeholders to take advantage of this opportunity,” said DMV director General, Tsepe Motumi, who will officially launch the centre on April 24.
Earlier this year the DMV relocated to new premises in the Pretoria suburb of Hatfield at 1052 Festival Street as part of its overall commitment to bettering service to military veterans. The new premises are within easy reach of a Gautrain station and not far from the Tshwane metro’s rapid bus transit system, currently under construction.
The DMV previously occupied offices on Denel’s Irene campus, south of Pretoria not within easy reach of bus and train commuters.
Apart from issuing around eight thousand healthcare cards to registered and verified military veterans the DMV this year has embarked on a group therapy programme. This will see about a thousand military veterans receive counselling to improve their lives and self-belief.
Other benefits the DMV, under the leadership of Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thabang Makwetla, has started rolling out to registered and verified veterans include injury compensation, job assistance, the use of public transport at subsidised rates, housing and bursaries for further education.
The over-arching criteria for qualification as a military veteran, apart from the obvious of having served in either MK, Apla, the SADF or military arm of any other freedom movement, is that he or she should not earn more than R125 000 a year to qualify for benefits such as R25 000 for burial support, amongst others.
Veterans wanting assistance with “employment placement” will have to submit a comprehensive CV to the DMV which will then facilitate employment placement, subject to the availability of work opportunities.
The just opened call centre replaces individual numbers veterans previously had to call for, among others, registration, employment placement, skills development and empowerment and establishing a business.