Parliament, Wednesday, 9 November 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans has informed the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) that it remains extremely concerned by the slow progress on the updating of a national database of military veterans.

The committee said the updating of a national database of military veterans continues to be a challenge for the department and it urged the department, which appeared before it today, to accelerate the finalisation of the updating of this national database. The department also briefed the committee on various reports including the work of the Presidential Task Team.

The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Cyril Xaba, said: “Three years later we are still talking about database cleansing and verification. It is critical that a database is finalised as it is a centre of all activities of the DMV.” Mr Xaba cautioned the DMV that a lack of appetite in finalising the database could mean the next Parliamentary administration might be faced with the same issue of the incomplete database.

The DMV also presented progress on educational support it provides to the military veterans and their dependents. The committee heard that the department had struggled with monitoring payment of tuition of students in public institutions due to administrative deficiencies. It had since updated all outstanding debts owed by their students.

According to the DMV, the children of military veterans who passed on without being on the database can still be registered.

The committee deferred the DMV’s progress report on the status of filling of vacancies. Members of the committee felt there was no sufficient progress made and there were no timeframes attached to filling of vacancies. The committee further recommended that filling of vacancies must be presented with a comprehensive plan with timeframes on how the department will deal with challenges related to its audit as well as internal audit committees.

According to the MDV, the Presidential Task Team, which is led by the Deputy President continues its work which mainly includes socio-economic support to all veterans under statutory and non-statutory forces.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS, MR CYRIL XABA
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