Government will address military veterans concerns, says Mabuza
Johannesburg - Deputy President David Mabuza said the government was close to resolving the problems facing military veterans after it set up a number of work streams that will deal with these problems.
This follows the protests by military veterans at the Union Buildings last November to complain about being left in the lurch and not given support by the government.
They had complained about not getting basic services including jobs, health care, education assistance, housing and other opportunities.
“In the main, the complaints by military veterans suggested that there was a need for the development of a comprehensive approach that is geared towards obliging the Department of Military Veterans to develop the requisite institutional capacity that will enable it to optimally deliver on its mandate, in a transparent and accountable manner.
“We have further noted that although different military veterans groupings had complained about different things, in the end, the core of these complaints revolved around matters that are more or less related.
“These include the social relief of distress, educational assistance, the provisioning of decent housing, job opportunities, land and housing allocation to mention but a few,” said Mabuza.
The protests by the military veterans also led to the establishment of a presidential task team to look into the nature of their complaints.
In a report back on Friday with the military veterans and the Gauteng provincial government Mabuza said they have set up a technical task team that assessed the needs of the military veterans.
“Through these engagements, we have now been able to conceptualise and constitute seven work streams that we have tasked to focus and to pursue specific thematic areas, that will bring us much closer to resolving most of the grievances that have been brought to our attention,” said Mabuza..
The work streams include legislative review, organisational re-design, the verification of the database for military veterans, pensions and benefits, heritage and communication.
He said the problems that were faced by military veterans were complex, but they will be resolved.
“In conclusion, let me indicate that the challenges faced by our military veterans are myriad and complex. They require all of us, provinces, districts and indeed the private sector, to commit to a joint action approach to resolving these specific challenges,” said Mabuza.