Sisulu still beating the drum for military veterans


Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu wants South Africa to allocate at least 30% of houses being built nationally to be allocated to needy military veterans.

Speaking in Bloemfontein, the woman who occupied the defence and military veterans ministry before current incumbent, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said her department was in the process of rolling out what she termed “catalytic projects”.
“For each and every project 30% of the houses built in each of the nine provinces should be allocated to deserving military veterans,” she said adding “restoring the dignity of military veterans remained a government priority”.

She challenged a military veterans summit in the Free State capital to come up with concrete proposals on mechanisms and institutional arrangements to deliver “effectively and efficiently” to military veterans.

Earlier this month Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) heard the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) two years ago set up a housing needs database which identified more than twenty-one thousand potential beneficiaries. Pre-screening saw more than 70% disqualified.

The 16 421 disqualifications came from 5 722 names on the database identified as being dead, 844 with invalid identification documentation, 6 336 already held title deeds, 2 931 received RDP housing subsidies and 538 earned more than the R125 000 a year threshold.

The presentation by DMV acting director general Max Ozinsky also highlighted “challenges” in providing services for military veterans.

These included disputes by representative associations, including the SA National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA), which reportedly “refuses to sign off on beneficiary lists” and identified beneficiaries not living close to planned housing projects and refusing to move. He also told the committee some houses, built specifically for military veterans, had been illegally occupied.