Deputy President, David Mabuza, hosted a meeting in Mbombela at Ehlanzeni to address unresolved grievances of military veterans. Mabuza, in his role as chairperson of the presidential Task Team for Military Veterans, attended various meetings with military associations and will report back to provincial and national government.
These meetings provided opportunities for former military soldiers to voice their grievances over issues such as housing, access to health care and education. The government’s promises of providing housing to the veterans were to be made a reality. Those who fought for freedom, told Mabuza that their rightful benefits are being denied and “that they are being ignored and not receiving any assistance.
” The veterans said that military offices are “always empty” and there is no other option available to them to highlight their plight. During these meetings, Act 18 of 2011 was reviewed. It was instituted to address socio-economic support, pensions and empowerment of former soldiers, among others.
Mabuza agreed that military veterans should be upskilled to provide them with entrepreneurial opportunities. He mentioned opportunities to farm, entrepreneurships and said that those with certain working skills should be assisted in “maintaining sustainable employment. The veterans welcomed the support of the Deputy Minister which they believe would result in benefits. Mabuza also promised to search for the remains of those who died in exile and to assist their families. Finally, he called for the establishment of a proper database of former soldiers in order to provide them with benefits due to them.