As from tomorrow the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) will start issuing medical health cards to 4 800 veterans.
The latest roll-out of services to veterans follows the handing over of the first two houses to deserving veterans in North West earlier this year as well as the issuing of health cards by former Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu at a veterans conference in Centurion last year.
The card roll-out, across all nine provinces, will run under the theme “Your health is our concern”, and will also see veterans undergo voluntary check-ups for various illnesses. Counselling will also be available.
Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, will according to the SA Government News Agency, launch the issuing campaign at “Durban International Air Force Base”.
More than 800 cards are expected to be issued in KwaZulu-Natal with The Bluff sickbay the second provincial issuing point on October 17.
In Limpopo, registered and verified military veterans will get their cards at Polokwane sickbay on October 23 and at Vhembe sickbay the following day.
In North West cards will be available at Mafikeng/Molopo sickbay on October 29 and at Potchefstroom sickbay on October 31.
In Mpumalanga cards will be issued at Nelspruit sickbay on November 6 and at Middelburg on November 8.
Military veterans in Free State can collect cards on November 12 and 13 at Bloemfontein sickbay with a handover scheduled for Western Cape from November 19 and 20 at Cape Town sickbay.
In Gauteng cards will be issued at Thaba Tshwane sickbay on November 22 and Dunnottar sickbay on November 29.
On November 26 and 27 cards will be issued at Kimberley sickbay in Northern Cape with Eastern Cape military veterans receiving their cards on December 3 and 4 at Mthatha sickbay and East London sickbay on December 5.
The roll-out will be conducted in partnership with SA Military Health Services (SAMHS) and the Military Veterans’ Healthcare Practitioners’ Partnership, an NGO which has entered into an agreement with the DMV to provide professional services to veterans.
DMV director general Tsepe Motumi told the government news agency veterans who qualified, were registered on the department’s database and earned less than R300 000 a year were in line to receive health benefits when using the cards.
Letters have been written and SMSs sent to military veterans who qualify to receive healthcare cards during the campaign.
“The list of targeted military veterans has been sent to KwaZulu-Natal provincial military veteran association structures, as well as other provinces. We are going to work closely with them to ensure the smooth running of the programme.
“Those who will be receiving these services should bring along identity documents, proof of income if employed or affidavit if unemployed and their letter from the department,” Motumi said.
The card roll-out is the first major event for veterans following the establishment of a national umbrella organisation for all veterans last month. This was termed “a new chapter in the history of South Africa’s military veterans” by DMV head of communications, Mbulelo Musi.
The new umbrella body is known as the South African national Military Veterans Association and replaces the former organisation of the same name. It includes Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA); the Azanian Peoples’ Liberation Army Military Veterans Association (APLAMVA), the Azanian National Liberation Army Military Veterans Association, (AZALMVA); the Council of Military Veterans Organisations (CMVO); the former Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei (TBVC) Defence Forces military veteran associations as well as the SA Cape Coloured Corps.
The first meeting of the new umbrella body’s steering committee, due to have taken place last week, was postponed at the last minute for “unknown reasons” and no new date has yet been set defenceWeb has been reliably informed.
According to Musi the number of veterans currently in the DMV database is almost 57 000.