ATC140305: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on the Regulations to the Military Veterans Act (Act 18 Of 2011), dated 5 March 2014

Defence and Military Veterans


The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (the Committee), having considered the regulations to the Military Veterans Act (18 - 2011), reports as follows:

1. In accordance with Section 24 (3) of the Military Veterans Act (18-2011), draft regulations to said Act was tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans on 9 May 2013; and thereafter referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans for consideration.

2. The Committee held three briefings with the Department of Military Veterans (the Department) between June 2013 and February 2014, during which various challenges were identified and on which the Department was requested to improve upon prior to the publication of these regulations in the Government Gazette.

3. The Department received its budget allocation upon completion of the draft regulations. Since the Department will not be able to spend its entire budget before the end of the current financial year, the Committee urges that the necessary application for funds to be rolled- over, is submitted to National Treasury (NT) timeously and in accordance with National Treasury Regulations and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Furthermore, the Department is also encouraged to interact with NT to ensure that the necessary approvals are granted.

4. While mindful and in line with the functions of the portfolio committee, the Committee could not amend said regulations. It has however developed key recommendations which could assist the Department with the efficient implementation of the Military Veterans Act (18-2011) as well as the efficient provision of support services and benefits to military veterans.


The Committee requests that the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans ensures

that the following recommendations are considered and due consideration is given to

their implementation:

2.1 Section 2 – Requirements to qualify for benefits

2.1.1 The Department should ensure that the qualifying criteria for benefits outlined in the regulations are beyond contradiction and that deserving military veterans are not unnecessarily excluded.

2.2 Section 4: Determination of the amount of compensation and Section 5: Payment of Compensation

2.2.1 The Department should foster closer co-operation with National Treasury which administers national pensions, to ensure that military veterans receive all pensions or compensation entitled to them and based on qualifying criteria.

2.3 Section 3: Compensation for injury, trauma and disease; Section 6: Criteria for the counselling and treatment of mental illness and posttraumatic stress and Section 7: Application for Counselling and treatment

2.3.1 The Committee stresses that counselling and treatment services for military veterans should be prioritised and access to such services should not be unnecessarily bureaucratised. The Department should ensure that military veterans are provided with the necessary assistance, information, and authorisation in order to receive quality health care services and treatment when required.

2.4 Section 10: Facilitation of business opportunities and Section 11: Business facilitation programmes

2.4.1 Qualifying criteria for access business opportunities and programmes should be stringent to ensure that military veterans benefit from such opportunities and that they are not exploited through “fronting practices” by unscrupulous individuals. The necessary amendments to departmental procurement policies should be made to include military veterans’ business opportunities and to enable such facilitation.

2.5 Section 16: Criteria to qualify for burial support; Section 17: Amount of burial support benefit, and Section 18: Re-imbursement for burial costs

2.5.1 The Department should ensure that reliable and consistent information is provided to military veterans on the benefits or support services the Department could lend families during the burial of a loved one. Furthermore, the application procedure, the expected timeframes for the processing of applications and the receipt of financial assistance should be known.

2.6 Section 19: Procedure to apply for military veterans benefits

2.6.1 The Committee urges the Department to ensure that all military veterans (statutory and non-statutory forces) are included on one reliable and regularly updated database. This would ensure that military veterans are recognised for their contribution and service to South Africa and that the Department has a reliable record of required information necessary to ensure that services and benefits are provided fairly to those military veterans who are most deserving.

2.6.2 Application forms should be user-friendly and easily understandable and available in all official languages. The Department should be sensitive to limitations of military veterans and should be able to provide the necessary assistance during the completion of application forms. Additionally, the Department should explore the use of a fingerprint system instead of a signature, in instances when a military veteran is not able to read or write.

Report for information.



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