Reliability of military veterans’ database questioned

6028

The reliability of the military veterans’ database has been questioned by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) particularly as regards the provision of housing for veterans.

This follows a September call by Parliament’s Select Committee on Security and Justice saying much the same about the lack of performance by the Department of Military Veterans (DMV), the primary responsibility of Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Kebby Maphatsoe.

Malusi Motimele, PCDMV chairman, said the committee is on record as wanting a “reliable and verifiable database and is concerned this still remains a challenge”.
“It is negatively affecting the delivery of houses at provincial level leading to under-performance and must be urgently addressed,” he said following a meeting addressed by Max Ozinsky, who is now DMV director-general. He replaces Tsepe Motumi whose contract was not renewed when it expired in August 2015, according to Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Ozinsky was previously a member of the Western Cape provincial legislature who left public office when the ANC lost its majority. The DMV has, to date, not issued any official statement about his appointment.

The DMV has, in its annual performance plan for the 2016/17 financial year, set aside R138 million to deliver a thousand houses for veterans.

Following this week’s meeting Motimele said provincial departments of human settlements in Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and North West were experiencing “challenges, especially with the reliability of the database”.

Another “challenge” was the unavailability of serviced stands ready for building. The PCDMV, Motimele said, has instructed the executive authority of the DMV as well as the national Department of Human Settlements, headed by former defence and military veterans minister Lindiwe Sisulu, to engage with municipalities “to avail stands to benefit military veterans”.
“The Inter-governmental Relations Framework Act was specifically designed to ensure the seamless functioning of government at all levels, Departments must use this legislation as a guideline to resolving impediments,” he said.

In September the Select Committee on Security and Justice pointed out that “a disappointing 41 houses” were built against a target of three thousand apparently set for the 2015/16 financial year.

In April this year hundreds of military veterans led by the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) marched to the Department of Military Veterans to protest benefits not being delivered to them and their dependents, including housing, bursaries and medical benefits.