11 January 2017
The provision of education to military veterans and their dependants constitutes a major priority for the Department of Military Veterans.
The Department has to date supported approximately 5800 education support beneficiaries, to the amount of R142 million against the initial budget of R26.4 million in both basic and tertiary education.
Indeed we have made significant strides in ensuring that the military veterans and their dependants to get quality education as a basic constitutional right.
The significant achievements we have in the past two years has brought about empowerment and change of life to military veterans but has also has brought huge financial challenges.
The DMV is now consulting with various stakeholders to find lasting solutions
Yesterday a joint meeting by Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, with Advisory Council on Military Veterans and the South African National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA) was held wherein it was agreed to continue to provide military veterans and their dependants with education support on both basic and tertiary institution, for the 2017 academic year, including access to private institutions.
The meeting deliberate on the matters relating to the provision of education support in line with Section 5 1(d) of Military Veterans Act 18 of 2011.
This meeting committed to a better delivery of the education benefit to all military veterans who have met the application criteria and deadline of 23 December 2016.
The DMV also commits to continue providing education support to the military veterans and dependants who have been provided with education support in 2016 in both basic and tertiary education institutions.
Thus far the DMV has received approximately 3 800 new applications for both tertiary and basic education across the country.
Meanwhile the DMV has committed to continue to provide education support to approximately 5000 continuing learners/students who were in receipt of education support in 2016. The qualification include amongst others, being registered on the DMV database.
In total it is estimated that the DMV will provide education support to approximately 9000 military veterans and dependants in 2017.
The increase demand in education support for military veterans
has presented huge financial and administrative challenges in the DMV which, are being attended to through consultations with various stakeholders such as National Treasury, the Department of basic and higher education and their relevant institutions e.g. NSFAS.
We have noted that as we provided the education support there are those who are trying to defraud and abuse the system including amongst others inflating tuition and other fees. We will be conducting a forensic audit to ensure that we eliminate fraud and deal decisively with those responsible
The provision of quality education to military veterans and dependants continues to be a priority in the DMV, noting that education is a Constitutional right of military veterans and their dependants, as it is for all the citizens of South Africa.
In the provision of education support, the financial and institutional challenges have necessitated the development of the policy on education support, which the DMV is currently working in consultation with the various stakeholders.
The policy seeks to achieve amongst others:
The DMV takes this opportunity to congratulate the class of 2016 of military veterans and their dependants, who have passed as well as those who have graduated at tertiary institutions.
The Department calls upon all stakeholders, business, labour, civil society, the 3 spheres of Government as well as all Military Veterans formations, to work together with the DMV in ensuring that we provide quality education to military veterans and their dependants, which will go a long way in contributing to sustainable, social and economic development of the country, as well as enhance social cohesion and national building.