Veterans’ benefits set out

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A just released 22 page Government Gazette sets out how military veterans should go about submitting applications for benefits ranging from injury compensation through to counselling, job assistance, the use of public transport at subsidised rates, housing and healthcare.

The over-arching criteria is that veterans should not earn more than R125 000 a year, a monthly income of R10 416, to qualify for benefits such as housing, burial support to a total of R25 000, and subsidised transport.

On what the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) terms “employment placement” veterans wanting assistance to get work have to submit a CV to the department which will then “facilitate employment placement, subject to availability of opportunities”.

Veterans wanting this assistance will be helped by officials in the DMV’s skills development and empowerment unit, housed along with its other assistance units, registration and administration at 1052 Festival Street, Hatfield, Pretoria.

As far as entrepreneurship is concerned the just published regulations stipulate the Minister (Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula) “must establish a business vehicle through which opportunities can be pursued by the State on behalf of all military veterans”.

On making veterans’ business entities viable the DMV will assist with training on business information and statistics; planning, logistics and financial modelling; supply linkages to markets; provide information on funding options as well as capacity building, skills transfer, support and mentorship.

The subsidised public transport benefit is available to unemployed veterans who receive a State pension as well as those earning not more than R125 000 a year. On completion and approval of official documentation they will qualify for a 100% subsidy when using public transport within the borders of South Africa.

The regulations also make provision for compensation for injury, trauma and disease, counselling and treatment for mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as general healthcare.

The DMV earlier this year relocated to Pretoria, from Denel’s Irene campus as part of its “drive to bring services closer to veterans”. The move to the Pretoria suburbs makes the DMV offices accessible via public transport with a Gautrain station nearby and the Tshwane Metro’s rapid bus transport system, currently under construction, also close.