DA efforts lead to victory for Military Veterans

Issued by Maliyakhe Shelembe MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Affairs
26 Apr 2023 in News

As a result of the relentless efforts by the DA members of the portfolio committee of Defence and Military Affairs, our objections to the Military Veterans pension policy published in December 2022, the week of the ANC’s elective congress, have resulted in new all-inclusive Military Veterans pension regulations.

The draft policy signed by Minister Thandi Modise last year to provide pension benefits to military veterans only considered the non-statutory forces and completely left out statutory forces.

The DA fought tooth and nail and called out the Minister for undermining and failing to uphold the Military Veterans Act which clearly defines that the “Military Veterans means any South African Citizen (1) who rendered military service to any of the military organisations, statutory and non statutory forces which were involved in all sides of South Africa’s liberation War from 1960 to 1994, (2) who became the member of the South African National Defence Force after 1994”.

Whilst the DA appreciates that Minister Modise has acceded to our request, we are still concerned about the failure of the Minister to appoint an Acting Director General in the Department of Military Veterans. The approval of the Draft Regulations means nothing if there’s no DG in the department. Currently there are a number of complaints from the Military Veterans which include them not being able to afford to buy school clothing for their children as there’s no DG to approve payments. Children and dependents of military veterans should not suffer because of the Minister’s failure to appoint an Acting DG.

The Democratic Alliance has written to the Minister, urging her to appoint the Acting Director General without further delay so that the lives of Military Veterans are made easier.

The DA will continue working hard to ensure that all military veterans are treated equally with dignity. We will follow up to ensure that pension benefits for military veterans are rolled out without further delay. The DA is elated that after its attempts, the Statutory Forces will be included in regulations for pension benefits.