According to Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the military veterans’ database is the baseline for determining beneficiaries in the Department of Military Veterans (DMV).
She was answering questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) this week along with ministers in the Social Services cluster.
“The establishment of a credible, reliable and secure national military veterans’ database is an ongoing effort, executed collaboratively with the support and participation of key role players, including the SA National Military Veterans Association, an umbrella body of military veterans.
“The process also includes individual military veterans associations and the Department of Defence.
“The database is the baseline for determining beneficiaries and the credibility of the Department of Military Veterans system.
“It is our core business process and for this reason it has been identified as the most important, even in the turnaround system we developed last year,” she told the NCOP.
The DMV was, she said, currently mapping processes for the database to determine “clear operational rules” for the about still living 67 000 military veterans.
“The integrity and accuracy of the database is continuously being assessed and improved,” she said of the record which currently stands at 73 769 military veterans including 6 051 dead ex-soldiers.
Replying to a question from MP Mohapi Jihad Mohapi, Mapisa-Nqakula is reported by SAnews as saying: “significant progress has been made providing quality education for military veterans and their dependants. An education support policy has been adopted, which will be implemented in 2017/18”.
When the education support programme started in the DMV in 2014 some 200 military veterans and their dependents received assistance.
“In the 2016 academic year, the DMV provided education support to 5 807 military veterans and their dependants. This exceeded the target of 4 500 we had set ourselves.
“As of May 2017, we have received 8 768 applications for basic and tertiary education, 5 225 of which are continuing learners from 2016 academic year and 3 543 are new applicants.”
The increasing demand for services such as education support as well as healthcare and other provided by the DMV meant it was faced with what the Minister called “huge challenges relating to human and financial capacity” to process and pay.