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Statement on conclusion of the Presidential Task Team on Military Veterans chaired by Deputy President Shipokosa Paulus Mashatile

Deputy President Shipokosa Paulus Mashatile has today, Thursday, 18 April 2024, concluded a special meeting of the Presidential Task Team (PTT) on Military Veterans which he convened in order to engage on matters that require intervention and support measures to resolve identified challenges with respect to provision of benefits and socio-economic support for Military Veterans.

The Presidential Task Team on Military Veterans, chaired by the Deputy President, was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that issues which were raised with Government in relation to Military Veterans' benefits, support and status are addressed.

The task team comprises the Deputy President, the Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as well as the Minister and Deputy Minister of Defense and Military Veterans.

Since its establishment, the PTT has held continuous consultations, both at a national and provincial levels to better understand the challenges faced by Military Veterans that need to be resolved.

Furthermore, in dealing with the broad spectrum of concerns, seven technical work streams were constituted, to oversee, the resolution of specific areas, including in relation to their well-being. 

The following workstreams were thus formed: Legislative Review; Organizational Re-design; Database Verification, Cleansing and Enhancement; Socio-economic Support; Pensions and Benefits; Heritage, Memorialisation and Burial Support; as well as Communications.

In this regard, the meeting received presentations on the performance of work-streams as well as challenges and interventions required to accelerate the delivery of services to the veterans.  

The meeting welcomed the reports on the performance of work-streams and in particular reported progress achieved in dispensing pension benefits to Military Veterans.

To this end, the Department of Military Veterans presented a status update on the rollout of pension benefits to relevant beneficiaries. Since the gazetting of pension benefits, over 1600 applications have accordingly been approved, with over 700 of those fully paid to date. 
The task team expressed concern about the slow pace at which the Military Veterans were receiving their pension benefits and also noted that over 950 applications had not been finally processed due to outstanding banking details. 
The meeting agreed on the need to strengthen the effective, timely and coordinated communication between Government and Military Veterans. 

"This Presidential Task Team is dedicated to ensuring that the plight of Military Veterans is given the highest priority in every Government programme on every level, and takes its mandate and the ongoing issues encountered by veterans very seriously. We must collaborate to ensure that there is concerted efforts to better the economic and social conditions of our nation's veterans in light of the unique challenges they face,” said Deputy President Mashatile.

The Task Team further agreed on convening a National Consultative Summit with Military Veterans in the month of May 2024, in the Gauteng Province. The National Consultative Summit will be convened to offer a platform to report progress achieved in resolving concerns raised by Military Veterans.  

In concluding the meeting, Deputy President Mashatile said as the country prepares to celebrate 30 years of freedom and democracy ushered on 27th April 1994, there was no better timing than now to honour and commemorate Military Veterans.  

“It is crucial to recognise that without the sacrifices and courage of our Military Veterans, the path to freedom and democracy in South Africa would have been much more arduous and challenging. It is crucial for Government to exhibit our gratitude for the significant part they have played in our achievement of freedom by acknowledging and providing support to them, enabling them to lead a gratifying existence,” Deputy President reiterated. 

Media enquiries: Spokesperson of the Deputy President, Mr. Keith Khoza, on +27 66 195 8840

Issued by: The Presidency

 Union Building