Education support for military veterans

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Two hundred bona fide military veterans and their dependents will this year be furthering their education thanks to bursaries from the Department of Military Veterans (DMV).

This, Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thabang Makwetla said, was another indication of government’s commitment to improving the lot of South Africa’s military veterans.

A further 400 bursaries are expected to be awarded this year according to the DMV website which said R4 million has been earmarked by the department for bursaries.

The DMV said in November it would dispense R300 million to veterans in the current financial year. This would go towards construction of 505 houses for veterans while money would also be used for assistance with jobs, educations, veterans’ memorials, free and/or subsidised access to public transport, counselling and entrepreneurial support.

Provision of healthcare, another identified DMV priority, to verified veterans late last year saw close on 5 000 health cards issued. This is in addition to 1 7000 cards issued earlier in in the year.

The DMV, in conjunction with the SA National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA), has also put in place measures to prevent fraud and other criminal acts during veterans’ verification processing to ensure funding goes to the right recipients.

The DMV seeks to support government’s vision of a South Africa where all it people have access to lifelong learning as well as education and training. This, it maintains will assist in improving the quality of life and building a peaceful and prosperous country.

With an eye to the future the DMV has also asked veterans and their dependents to submit bursary applications for the 2013/14 financial year. The application process is via a letter of request to the DMV following which verification will be done and successful applicants contacted.

The Military Veterans Act defines a veteran as “a South African citizen who rendered military service to any of the military organisations, which were involved on all sides of South Africa’s liberation war from 1960 to 1994; those who served in the then Union Defence Force before 1961, and those who became members of the South African National Defence Force after 1994, and has completed his/her military training and no longer performs military duties, and has not been dishonourably discharged from that military