The second round of verifying the status of military veterans is currently underway in North West and veterans in the remaining seven provinces will have the opportunity to ensure they are in line for benefits when the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) visits them during the course of the year.
The North West verification process started last week at 101 SA Infantry Battalion in Mafikeng and will continue until May 14.
It follows last year’s Gauteng verification sittings in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
The verification process is aimed exclusively at ensuring members of the former non-statutory forces are correctly documented for inclusion on the national military veterans’ database.
“The creation of a credible database for military veterans is critical in ensuring an effective, efficient and seamless delivery of benefits as outlined in the Section 5 of the Military Veterans Act. The DMV calls on all military veterans from the non-statutory forces to take advantage of this opportunity and come forward to be verified so as to be able to access their benefits,” a DMV statement said.
The department wants members of veterans’ organisations such as MKMVA, APLAMVA and AZAMLAMVA resident in North West to use this window to ensure access to benefits ranging from assistance with job placement, entrepreneurship, healthcare and subsidised public transport.
Last year saw the DMV’s first verification process in Gauteng for bona fide veterans of the non-statutory forces. More than 200 names were added to the national veterans’ database after sittings in Johannesburg.
The DMV has set itself the target of completing the verification process by year-end.
Earlier this month the DMV started a call centre working from its new offices in Hatfield, Pretoria, to provide veterans with “easy, quick and free access” to information about services and benefits available to veterans. The number is 080 232 3244.
Roll-out of veterans’ benefits has to date see about 8 000 healthcare cards issued and a group therapy programme launched. The healthcare cards entitle veterans to use any SA Military Health Services (SAMHS) facility or hospital while the therapy programme provides counselling to improve self-belief.