ATC200605: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on Budget Vote 26 Department Of Military Veterans Dated 27 May 2020

Defence and Military Veterans



The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCODMV), having considered Budget Vote 26 Military Veterans, its Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 and their 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan, on 15 and 22 May 2020 reports as follows:





1.1        Mandate of the Committee


Section 55 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) states that “The National Assembly must provide for mechanisms (a) to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it and (b) to maintain oversight of (i) the exercise of national executive authority, including the implementation of legislation; and (ii) any organ of state.”


1.2        Process


The Portfolio Committee considered the Department of Military Veterans’ Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025, the 2020/21 Annual Performance Plans as well as their 2020/21 budgetary allocation 2020/21, 15 May 2020. The Committee made several observations that led to recommendations to the DMV, to enhance their performance for the remained of 2020/21.





The South African Government is currently seized with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through various initiatives including a compulsory lockdown for 21 days from midnight 26 March till 16 April 2020, which was further extended for two weeks on 9 April 2020. The impact of the pandemic is enormous on all aspects of life and especially severe on the more marginalised sections of our population, and in particular the majority of our military veterans. Its severity can be noted in this quote: (t)he rate and global spread of infections by Covid-19 – and the related sense of panic across a globalised financial, political and social architecture – sets this particular pandemic apart from any other in modern times.” Furthermore, “(i)n this time of unparalleled challenges, governments must rapidly shift priorities and realign tax and spending policies


In the USA, for example, both the Department of Defence and Department of Veterans Administration are keeping track of the number of confirmed and presumptive cases of the virus in the military community. Its call centers and health facilities are also available to assist military veterans with questions and also provide helpful online information on the virus. Provision is also made in certain cases for military veterans who might “be feeling the financial pinch from the novel coronavirus pandemic as businesses close, cancellations clear schedules and second incomes dwindle.” In this case, military aid societies and nonprofits, which offer grants and financial support for military members and veterans in times of crises, said they are standing by to help. In addition to these initiatives and assistance, the US Senate has also passed a Coronavirus Relief Bill of $60 million for military veterans.


During such crises, it is understandable that government will prioritise those departments that are dealing directly with combating the pandemic. These include national and provincial health departments, the police, the military, etc. As the national fiscus is called upon to avail funding for these departments and initiatives to specifically fight the pandemic, it is possible that the annual budgetary allocations to especially national departments will have to be revised. In such a case the possibility exists that the DMV might be requested to prepare for lesser funding than allocated in the 2020/21 Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) under Vote 26.


Many military veterans and their dependents are reliant on the defined benefits from the DMV, especially if consideration is given to the increasing number of applicants for the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) benefit. It must be cautioned that this should be avoided as a strong case can be made against such a move. Covid-19 is severe on certain categories of the population and these include the following:


  • The elderly population.
  • People at risk due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer).
  • People at risk due to a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy).


It must be noted that the majority of the military veterans’ population fall within the mentioned categories. The DMV could use its database and health benefits to see to these vulnerable groups.




3.1        Mandate of the Department of Military Veterans


The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) derives its legislative mandate from the Military Veterans Act (18 of 2011), which requires it to provide national policy and standards on socio-economic support to military veterans and their dependants, including benefits and entitlements to help realise a dignified, unified, empowered and self-sufficient community of military veterans.


3.2        Main Objective of the Department of Military Veterans


The main objective of the Department of Military Veterans is to provide national policy and standards on socio-economic support to Military veterans and their dependants, as well as policies and standards on heritage and empowerment programmes including those that contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.


3.3        Contribution to National Development Plan, Medium Term Strategic Framework and the Executive Authority Priorities


The DMV’s Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 as well as its Annual Performance Plan 2020/21 list the contributions that the DMV will make to the National Development Plan (NDP), the Medium Term Strategic Framework Outcomes and the Executive Authority Priorities in a tabular format, as follows:






Table 1: DMV contributions to the NDP, MTSF and Executive Authority’s Priorities


4.         COMMITTEE BUDGET REPORT 2019/20          


In order to include a holistic review by the Committee, past recommendations are included. The Committee made the following recommendations in terms of the 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Military Veterans:


  1. The Committee recommended that the DMV submit the Amendment Bill as soon as possible in order to, inter alia, address the definition of a military veteran and who should be given preference in the allocation of benefits.
  2. The Regulations need to be changed in order to adjust the values to allow it to keep track of inflation and the Committee recommended that the Department should finalise the changes to the Regulations as soon as possible.
  3. The Committee recommended that the Department should strengthened its partnerships with the respective implementation agencies at national, provincial and local government levels to fast track the delivery of houses to deserving military veterans and to address the skewed urban/rural split. It also noted the renovation of dilapidated houses belonging to military veterans and requested the department to keep it abreast of the number of houses renovated as well as the cost implications.
  4. The Department was encouraged to enhance its efforts with the Department of Public Works to establish provincial offices, as this will not only facilitate easier access for military veterans but also increase awareness of the department and its function around the country. However, the Committee recommends that the DMV keep financial constraints in mind and that the DMV should seek affordable offices and cooperate with other departments for office space where available.
  5. The Committee recommended that the Department should align its processes to fast track the payment of burial support claims through, inter alia, improving awareness, educating military veterans and their dependents as well as establishing provincial offices to enhance access to the Department.
  6. The accessibility of health services for military veterans is a very important benefit given that the majority of military veterans are ageing and the Department was encouraged to further investigate this issue to address the challenges around it.
  7. Given that not all municipalities prioritise military veterans, the Committee recommended that the Department should further enhance its cooperation with the South African Local Government Agency (SALGA) and related structures to ensure the required cooperation with municipalities across the country.
  8. The Department was encouraged to reduce its reliance on consultants and contractors and to ensure that one of the requirements to appoint them, should be that they impart some of the related skills to employees of the Department. The Committee further urges the DMV to ensure that contractors and consultants are not utilised unnecessarily where a service could be provided from within the DMV and if possible, by the DOD.
  9. The DMV should submit a report to the Committee, no later than 15 September 2019, of all consultants and contractors utilised by the Department in 2018/19 and thus far in 2019/20, the value of such contracts and a brief description of the service rendered.
  10. The Department admitted that the Database is one of their serious challenges and the Committee recommended that it should further enhance the integration of the database with institutions other than the Department of Home Affairs, such as the South African Revenue Services and the South African Police Service.
  11. The Committee recommended that the Department should investigate how dependents can be assisted once the military veteran has passed on and should consider including this as part of the amendments to the primary Act.
  12. The Committee recommended that the Department should improve its relationship with society in general and not only focus narrowly on military veterans and their dependents. This will assist the overall transformation and integration agenda of the government.
  13. The Committee agreed that the Department of Health and the SA Medical Health Services should enter into discussions to see how they can better assist military veterans and their dependents with regard to medical services.
  14. The DMV should supply the Committee with a copy of the means test utilised to determine whether a military veteran qualifies for a specific benefit, at the next quarterly report briefing.
  15. The Committee noted the Department’s prioritising of social benefits and emphasised that given the reliance on other government departments, the Committee should play a stronger oversight role in this regard.


5.         DMVs STRATEGIC PLAN 2020 – 2025

The Department of Military Veterans’ Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 consists of four main parts namely: Part A: DMV Mandate; Part B: DMV Strategic Focus; Part C: Measuring DMV Performance and Part D:  Technical Indicator Descriptions.

5.1        Part B: DMV Strategic Focus

This Part deals with the DMV’s vision, mission, organisational values, situational analysis, external environment analysis, and internal environment analysis.  The DMV’s 2020 – 2021 APP similarly covers these aspects in a shorter form in Part B.

Vision:  Adignified, unified, empowered and self-sufficient military veterans` community.

Mission:  To facilitate delivery of benefits and co-ordinate all activities that recognise and entrench the restoration of dignity and appreciation of the contribution of Military Veterans to our freedom and nation building.

Organisational Values:  They state that theirservice delivery ethos is rooted in the Batho Pele (People First) principles characterised by the Integrity, Compassion, Honesty, Professionalism, Commitment and accountability.

5.1.1.    Situational analysis

The DMV’s Strategic Plan states that it operates within a context that requires an analysis of both the internal and external environments, not only to identify internal challenges, but also to leverage opportunities presented by these environments that can help them to achieve their mandate.

Internal Environment

The Strategic Plan makes reference to various issues under this heading including the following:

  • The DMV is working on enabling legislation, regulations, policies, relevant systems, infrastructure and organizational design to ensure a functional Department with capable human capital that will assist to improve service delivery to the Military Veterans’ community.
  • The strength of its infrastructure and systems is key to service delivery and to the realisation of the Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Framework to accelerate the delivery of services to the Military Veterans and their dependents.
  • Critical is the conclusion of a Service Delivery Model (SDM) working in concert with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and National Treasury (NT).
  • A critical area is the need for diversity management in the Department of Military Veterans. Its objective is to ensure that the DMV environment is accommodative of all the racial groups, their gender, values, beliefs, culture as well as the different religious backgrounds. This to ensure that the employees of the Department have a sense of belonging and as a result will remain committed to the delivery of the mandate of the Department.
  • Through National Treasury it was able to have an independent vote, with effect from 1 April 2020, where the Department will be operating under Vote 26.
  • For proper planning, the Department looks at the demographic nature and spread of the Military Veterans’ population as indicated in the table below depicting the community of Military Veterans in terms of their geographical location.
  • 6 744 (8.3%) of Military Veterans must still update their information to ascertain their places of residence and therefore confirming the Provinces they reside in, thus the category of the unknown in the table.
  • The concentration of Military Veterans is in Gauteng and constitutes 30% of the total community, which necessitates the DMV to speed up the process of establishing and/or enhancing Provincial Offices.
  • The Military Veterans Database indicates that Military Veterans from former Statutory Forces (SF) account for about 76%, while the former Non-Statutory Forces (NSF) account for 24%. Based on the history of the two former forces in so far as access to benefits like pensions, subsidised housing, etc are concerned, it is evident that there is great disparity between the needs of Military Veterans coming from the two former force groupings with the former SF having an advantage. There is therefore an urgent intervention required to redress the injustice of the past.






Figure 2 below denotes the Military Veterans per race and gender, with the latter being fundamental for the type of services needed.


External Environment

The Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 states that the external environment is characterised by changes within the Political, Economic, Social, Technology and Legal spheres which present opportunities for the refocusing of the Department. It then makes reference to the following issues:

  • Reference is made to the Global Risks Report 2019, regarding the rate of global growth as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts pointing to a gradual slowdown over the next They cite the World Bank Report of January 2020 which states that SA’s economy will struggle to grow in line with the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Government will therefore be reducing spending over the MTEF to place its finances on a sustainable path.
  • The slow SA economic growth resulted in budget cuts over the years and this has affected the allocation to service the Military Veterans.
  • In line with the Military Veterans Task Team Report (MVTTR) and the Military Veterans Act in Section 5 (3) (a) and (b) as the guiding blueprint for a service delivery model, the Department will begin to look at more cost effective ways to deliver on its mandate and strengthen its Intergovernmental Relations function in order to leverage on the resources of line-function National Departments, Provincial and Local Government as well as State Owned Enterprises.
  • The Department is working very hard to actively integrate Military Veterans in communities. This will be achieved through an integrated delivery of economic and social benefits. In this regard, the One District approach which put emphasis on Strategic Public Private Partnership (PPP) will be critical in advancing effective, efficient and accelerated delivery of these benefits and services.
  • They acknowledge that poverty, unemployment and inequality remain high nationally and is more pronounced within the community of Military Veterans. These will result in an increased demand for delivery of benefits and services to Military Veterans.
  • Cyber adversaries and information security professionals are perpetually engaged in a fierce cyber race focused around the access of sensitive data contained in critical infrastructure systems. The Department is seized with this reality and states it is paramount for the DMV to secure and deploy the most efficient, powerful, and cost-effective security solutions.
  • Since its inception the DMV has been faced with legislative and policy challenges which hindered the delivery of benefits. Legislative review will be embarked upon. This process will be underpinned by extensive stakeholder consultation and research.
  • It refers to the King IV Report regarding the philosophy, principles, practices and outcomes that serve as the benchmark for corporate governance in South Africa. The Department will continually strive to embrace the principles of good governance as contained in the King IV Report.
  • In line with Priority 1 (Capable, Ethical and Developmental State) of the MTSF, anti-corruption and anti-fraud initiatives in the Department will continue to receive priority attention. To this end, the Department will embrace the government-wide initiatives to close loopholes and ensure proper implementation of anti-fraud and corruption strategy.


5.1.2     Stakeholder Analysis

This section outlines the various stakeholders who have interest in the achievement of the Department’s mandate. It includes the military veterans and their dependents; the SA National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA); the Appeal Board and Advisory Council; the DOD; DHA; National Treasury, DBE, the Department of Transport, and the Department of Social Development (DSD). Regarding duplication, reference is made to the SA Military Health Services who render medical services to military veterans, creating the possibility of duplication of services. To address this, they will use an integrated database to avoid double dipping. Related to roles and responsibilities outside its mandate, it proposes the development of a Master Service Agreement that institutionalise the IGR funding. It states that capacity constraints will be addressed through the Service Delivery Model that will promote both coordination and facilitation in line with the National One District Service Delivery Initiative. This section is concluded with the statement that “The critical success factors for high performance are a well-structured, staffed organization housed in good facilities with the best policies and systems including ICT systems.”

5.2        Part C: Measuring DMV Performance

This section is divided into four note-worthy subsections namely Institutional Performance Information; Key risks and mitigations; Public entities; and Annexure to the Strategic Plan.

5.2.1     Institutional Performance Information

The Department refer to its strategic outcome, budget programme, and logical framework that provide the outcomes, outputs, activities and inputs, in this part. It lists the Strategic Intent, Methodology and Strategy Map, the Impact Statement and how they will measure Outcomes.  Importantly, it states that its planned performance over the next 5 years is informed by the current socio-economic conditions facing the Military Veterans’ community which is characterised by a high level of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Therefore, the continued management of the politics-administration dichotomy is important to enhance effective delivery as a stable and growing economy is important in this regard.


5.2.2     Key risks and mitigations

This section deals with the Key risks and Mitigating factors in the Department. Importantly, the Department states that it will strive to ensure that a culture of risk management is institutionalised to reduce risk exposure.  They will regularly monitor and scrutinise these risks.







Socio-economic status of military veterans’ community improved and sustained

Inadequate integrated internal and external business systems.

Development of integrated business systems

Instability in strategic leadership.

Implement the approved recruitment plan

Misalignment of the organizational structure with the Service Delivery Model (SDM).

Obtain approval and implement the aligned organizational structure and SDM.

Inadequate legislative regulatory and policy.

Introduce amendments to the Military

Veterans Act 18 of 2011.

Alignment of the regulations to the Act

Development of policies in line with the Amended Act.

Inappropriate organizational culture

Introduce organizational change management


Ineffective and inefficient stakeholder

management and strategy.

Develop and implement stakeholder

management strategy.


5.2.3     Annexure to Strategic Plan



It should be noted that generally the first two Parts of the Strategic Plan and the Annual Performance Plan are fairly similar. One of the main differences relates to Part C: Measuring Performance, where that of the Strategic Plan was illustrated above.  This section will therefore focus on Part C: Measuring Performance as outlined in the Annual Performance Plan 2020/21 of the DMV. It starts off with the Contribution to the Executive Authority’s priorities, the NDP and the MTSF Priorities 2019 – 2024, as outlined above. This is followed by the Budget Programme Structure that can also be viewed as the relevant programmes with its sub-programmes.

The 2020/21 ENE acknowledges the role of DMV plays to realise the NDP’s vision and goals and that its activities support Priority 3 (education, skills and health) and Priority 6 (social cohesion and safer communities of the government’s 2019 – 2024 MTSF. The following sections provide more details on how the Department plans to do this and the funds allocated to the various activities.

6.1        Programmes and sub-programmes

6.1.1     Overview of the 2020/21 FY Budget and MTEF Estimates

It emphasises that the DMV is now under Vote 26 in the ENE to ensure it accounts for its own budget with own accounting and budgeting systems.

Budget summary


The Department’s budget increase from R682.1 million to R735 million over the MTEF period 2020/21 to 2022/23. It is noteworthy that the only real increase is in Programme 2 with an allocation of R51.9 million.



Percent of total budget per programme


Percent of total budget per programme

Change in percent allocation

R million






21.62 per cent


20.28 per cent

-1.34 per cent



55.99 per cent


58.77 per cent

2.78 per cent



22.39 per cent


20.95 per cent

-1.44 per cent



100.00 per cent


100.00 per cent

0.00 per cent


The table indicates that 55.99% of the budget in 2019 went to Programme 2 while this increased to 58.77 % in 2020. Besides Programme 2 being the largest, it also disburses eight of the eleven military veterans’ benefits. It is allocated R1.3 billion over the MTEF period and around 80% of its budget is spent on benefits as the main service delivery programme. Programme 3, the other service delivery programme, is allocated the second largest portion of the budget with 22.39% in 2019, which decreased to 20.95% in 2020.

The table shows that the DMV’s budget has increased with only 0.25% in real terms, implying a minimal increase. The biggest increase was in Programme 2 with 5.22% in real terms. As this is the main service delivery programme this should be welcomed. However, the nominal and real decreases in the other two programmes are concerning. Programme 3 recorded a real decrease of 6.18%.




Nominal Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Real Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Nominal Percent change in 2020/21

Real Percent change in 2020/21

R million




PROGRAMME 1: Administration



-  2.6

-  8.4

-1.84 per cent

-5.98 per cent


Socio-economic Support





9.85 per cent

5.22 per cent

PROGRAMME 3: Empowerment & Stakeholder Management



-  3.0

-  9.0

-2.05 per cent

-6.18 per cent






4.7 per cent

0.25 per cent





6.1.2     Programme 1: Administration

Purpose and performance targets

The main purpose of the programme is to provide management and strategic administration support to the Ministry, and overall management of the department. The following table shows the Programme’s performance targets for FY2020/21 to FY2022/23.


The following table shows the Administration programme’s annual and quarterly targets. 


Programme 1: Budgetary allocation

Overall, Programme 1’s Budget has decreased by 5.91% in real terms. The biggest decrease was in Sub-programme 1 Management which saw a decrease of 40.63% in real terms, while two other sub-programmes suffered smaller decreases. Sub-programme 3 Financial Administration received the biggest increase of 20.23% in real terms. Similarly, sub-programmes 4 and 5 received real increases.



Nominal Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Real Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Nominal Percent change in 2020/21

Real Percent change in 2020/21

R million



Sub-programme 1: Management



-  4.6

-  4.9

-38.02 per cent

-40.63 per cent

Sub-programme 2: Corporate Services



-  3.9

-  6.5

-5.89 per cent

-9.86 per cent

Sub-programme 3: Financial Administration





25.52 per cent

20.23 per cent

Sub-programme 4: Internal Audit





4.59 per cent

0.18 per cent

Sub-programme 5: Strategic Planning, Policy, M&E





9.55 per cent

4.93 per cent

Sub-programme 6: Office Accommodation



-  0.2

-  0.9

-1.15 per cent

-5.32 per cent




-  2.5

-  8.3

-1.8 per cent

-5.91 per cent


6.1.3       Programme 2: Socio-economic Support

Purpose and performance targets

The main purpose of the programme is to develop and monitor the implementation of legislation, policy frameworks and service delivery cooperation agreements on compensation for injury in military service, counselling, education, healthcare, public transport, pension and housing benefits to Military Veterans eligible for such support.  Programme 2: Socio-economic Support has the following annual and quarterly targets: 



Programme 2: Budgetary allocation

The programme consists of three sub-programmes, namely a) Database and Benefits Management; b) Healthcare and Well-being Support; and c) Socio-Economic Support Management. The programme disburses eight of the eleven military veterans’ benefits and spend around 80% of its allocated budget on benefits.   The following table outlines the 5-year performance targets of Programme 2:



Nominal Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Real Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Nominal Percent change in 2020/21

Real Percent change in 2020/21

R million



Sub-programme 1: Database & Benefits Management





22.45 per cent

17.29 per cent

Sub-programme 2: Health Care &Wellbeing support





19.88 per cent

14.82 per cent

Sub-programme 3: Socioeconomic Support Management





5.34 per cent

0.90 per cent






9.9 per cent

5.22 per cent


The table indicates that overall this important service delivery programme has received an increase of R19.1 million in real terms. The biggest increases in Programme 2 were in sub-programme 1: Database & Benefit Management and sub-programme 2 Health care & Wellbeing support with 17.29% in real terms and 14.82% in real terms respectively.


6.1.4     Programme 3: Empowerment and Stakeholder Management                           

Purpose and performance targets

The main purpose of this programme is to manage and facilitate the implementation of military veteran empowerment and stakeholder management programmes. Programme 3: Empowerment and Stakeholder Management lists the following annual and quarterly targets: 


Programme 3: Budgetary allocation

The programme consists of three sub-programmes, namely a) Provincial Offices and Stakeholder Relations; b) Empowerment and Skills Development; and c) Heritage, Memorials, Burials and Honours



Nominal Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Real Increase / Decrease in 2020/21

Nominal Percent change in 2020/21

Real Percent change in 2020/21

R million



Sub-programme 1: Provincial Offices & Stakeholder Relations




-  1.6

1.74 per cent

-2.55 per cent

Sub-programme 2: Empowerment & Skills Development





5.92 per cent

1.45 per cent

Sub-programme 3: Heritage, Memorials, Burials & Honours



-  6.9

-  8.0

-20.47 per cent

-23.83 per cent




-  2.9

-  8.9

-2.0 per cent

-6.12 per cent


Programme 3 received an overall decrease of R8.9 m in real terms. The biggest decrease is in sub-programme 3 with R8.0m in real terms. However, sub-programme 2 dealing with empowerment and skills development received a welcome increase of 1.45% in real terms. It is concerning that sub-programme 1 hosting Provincial Offices which are a critical issue, has received a real percentage decrease of 2.55 percent as compared to the previous year. The training and skills development programmes (such as driver training, short courses and hard skills through accredited service providers) will target 16 500 Military Veterans and their dependents at an estimated cost of R148.8 million over the MTEF period, according to the 2020/21 ENE.

6.2        Main cost drivers

The 2020/21 ENE reconfirm the role that Military Veterans played in the creation of a democratic South Africa. It therefore states that “to improve quality of life for Military Veterans and their dependents, almost 80 per cent (R1.7 billion) of the department’s budget is allocated for the delivery of key benefits.” Housing, education, training, skills development and access to health care to military veterans and their dependants; and implementing initiatives to improve the delivery of the services it provides, are the main activities. These will support priority 2 (education, skills and health) and priority 5 (social cohesion and safe communities) of government’s 2019‐2024 medium‐term strategic framework.  Specifically, the following are highlighted:

Programme 1: Administration

The finalisation and implementation of policies are expected to regularise and facilitate the rollout of these benefits, as provided for in the Military Veterans Act 18 of 2011. To complete this work, a projected R68.9 million has been allocated in the strategic planning, policy development and monitoring and evaluation subprogramme.

Programme 2: Socio-economic Support

The creation of the database and implementation of the system are expected to result in expenditure of R57 million in the database and benefits management subprogramme.  To give effect to the recognition that the provision of adequate housing is central to upholding human dignity, the department expects to deliver 2 130 newly built houses to Military Veterans and their families at a projected cost of R161.4 million over the medium term.  The number of Military Veterans with access to health care services is set to increase from 18 000 in 2019/20 to 21 000 in 2022/23, leading to an increase in spending of 8.5 per cent, from R96.1 million in 2019/20 to R122.7 million in 2022/23, in the Health Care and Wellbeing Support subprogramme.   The DMV will provide 7 400 bursaries per year over the MTEF period to Military Veterans and their dependants at a projected cost of R465 million.

Programme 3: Empowerment and Stakeholder Management


It will provide training and skills development programmes to a targeted 16 500 Military Veterans and their dependants at an estimated cost of R148.8 million over the MTEF period.


  • Other notable cost drivers include:


Current payments R391.5 m for 2019/20 and R405.5m for 2020/21 consisting mainly of:

Compensation of Employees:R131.5m for2019/20 and R140.5m for 2020/21

Goods and service: R259.9m for2019/20 and R246.9m for 2020/21with the following main items:

  • Contractors -     R78.1m for 2019/20 and R89.8m for 2020/21
  • Travel & Subsistence – R56.1m for 2019/20 and R54.3m for 2020/21


Transfers and subsidies

Households – R240.7m for 2019/20 and R260.9m for 2020/21


Payments for capital assets - R20.4m for 2019/20 and R16.7m for 2020/21

Software and other tangible assets: R1.1m for 2019/20 and R2.8m for 2020/21.



The APP outlines the human resource allocation in the Department as at end March 2019. It had 261 posts of which 26 were vacant, with 144 permanent employees, 63 contract appointments and 28 internship appointments. Importantly it states that the total permanent employees including vacancies was 170. It also shows that at least 38% (10) of the vacancies (26) are at salary levels 11 to 16, emphasising the need to fill positions at the top end of the organisation. A year later on 31 March 2020, the ENE indicates that the number of posts filled is 177, with 64 in Programme 1, 63 in Programme 2 and 50 in Programme 3. However, the ENE does not allude to the number of vacancies.





During deliberations with the Department of Military Veterans on 15 May and 22 May 2020, Members of the PCODMV made several observations related to the budgetary allocation, the performance indicators and the targets in the Strategic Plan and the Annual Performance Plan of the Department. The following were noted:

  1. The Committee enquired about the internal measures the Department has taken in order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The DMV indicated that they have fumigated their offices at their headquarters; have deep cleaned their office carpets; started the procurement process for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees; conducted fever screening; created a DMV Resilience and corona virus email address for employees; instituted a travel ban; discontinued walk-ins to the head and provincial offices; recommended that high risks employees should work from home; and that they have established a Task Team Committee to ensure that a Corona Virus Pandemic Management Plan was developed. The written responses to questions alluded to further actions such as a suggestion box, various presentations by experts, discontinuing the use of the turnstile, and temperature testing kits available at entrances. As of 22 May 2002, the DMV has spent approximately R500 000.00 on internal items.


  1. The Department was requested to explain the measures taken by the Department to assist military veterans and their dependents to combat the spread of the pandemic. They responded that the budget is being reprioritised, but the following risks still need to be addressed: how the department will assist the Provincial offices and what are the Department’s responsibilities to protect military veterans against infection. The written responses to questions stated further measures such as the Task Team identifying and assessing risks and that the CFO will determine funding for measures proposed, as well as the development of an internal and external communication plan. The DMV is also working with the Department of Social Development towards the alleviation of hunger through issuance of food parcels as well as the granting of Social Relief of Distress (SRD) assistance for 6 months. Other departments are assisting on how to implement access to the R350 unemployment grant and a top up of R850 from the DMV for military veterans.
  2. The amendments to the Military Veterans Act have been an ongoing issue for at least the past five years and the Committee enquired when the Department will introduce the amendment bill to Parliament. The Department, in their written responses, indicated that three options have been developed to amend the act to address the lacunas identified and stressed that amending an act is a lengthy process which requires research, analysis and consultation. The projected time frame is that the amendments will be presented to Parliament during the 2021/22 financial year.


  1. The Committee observed that certain policies are not finalised, while others are being revised and wanted to know what is the latest in this regard. The DMV responded that the housing; education; skills development and training; and burial policies are being revised while the pension and public transport policies are being finalised. The Heritage, Memorialisation and Honour; Counselling and Treatment; Compensation for Injury/Trauma/Disease; and Healthcare Policies are in draft format and need to be finalised. The new policies deal with Pension; Subsidised public transport; Business Empowerment and Support; and Beneficiary Support Services.


  1. Members wanted to know how readily accessible the three military hospitals and sickbays are for military veterans, especially those requiring medical support against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department noted that they are working with the DOD; are utilising the SANDF’s national footprint and that they are guided by the SA Military Health Services how to manage the situation. They are also using the post office and help desks to deliver chronic medicine as soon as possible.


  1. The slow delivery of houses facilitated by provinces can partly be attributed to the lack of signed Service Delivery Agreements (SLAs) between the Department and Provinces and the Committee wanted to know why some of these SLA’s have not been signed.


  1. The Committee noted that the Department is struggling to roll out the public transport benefit since its inception. It was indicated that the main challenge has been the capacity in the DMV to deliver on this benefit. “The department has since (from the 2019/20 financial year) been consulting with the Department of Transport, as the custodians of the public transport in the country, to partner in order to ensure that the benefit is delivered to the Military Veterans.” The target is to complete the policy within this financial year, 2020/21. They further plan to pilot the roll-out of 200 public transport beneficiaries per province in three provinces namely Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape. These areas are well suited for the pilot process due to their metropolitan infrastructure, and the DMV is confident of achieving its annual target. 


  1. The target related to the “number of military veterans provided with employment opportunities” (PPI 305) target was questioned by the Committee as it wanted to know what exactly it entails, who the beneficiaries are and how the target of 20 employment opportunities was determined. The Department indicated this is a new target for FY2020/21 and that consultations with relevant stakeholders revealed that they would prefer military veterans and not their dependents, as they score higher on the BBBEEE criteria when hiring military veterans.


  1. The DMV was asked to provide an update on the case involving Zeal Health who has instituted a claim of R198.15 million against the department. The DMV indicated that the Zeal matter is on the roll for hearing on 9 and 10 June 2020 in the Pretoria High Court and that the Heads of Argument are being finalised.


  1. The finalisation of the National Database has been a critical issue for years. The Committee reminded the Department that they have been set deadlines and that they are due to present a progress report at the next quarterly meeting. The Department responded in writing that their database has been compared with those of the Department of Home Affairs and the DOD’s Human Resource records. The database will also be separated to reflect active and inactive beneficiaries and that further categorisation of the database, such as deceased and former force categories, is being conducted.


  1. The Committee requested to be briefed on the implementation of the recommendations of the Skills Audit. The Department responded that they have only received Psychometric results from the service provider and that they have prepared an action plan to implement the available assessments results after a registered psychologist has provided guidance -  this will be done to avoid legal implications.  The Deputy Minister has subsequently partly refuted this response and stated that the wrong information was provided to Parliament and that it expects the Department to provide the Committee with the correct information in this regard.


  1. Regarding the educational support benefit, the Committee enquired about the standardisation of this benefit to public schools and higher education institutions as opposed to private institutions that are not only more expensive, but where fewer beneficiaries can be assisted. The Department agreed that private institutions of learning are more expensive and are planning to deal with it through the revised education policy, and stated that currently they are supporting studies at both public and private institutions.


  1. The Committee enquired about the proposed Change Management strategy to assist them to turn the Department around. Given the historical underperformance and underspending of the Department the Committee felt that without the implementation of such a strategy, the Department will not be able to perform effectively and efficiently. In addition, the Deputy Minister stressed that one of the challenges is the poor Consequence Management, an issue that was raised by the Auditor-General as well. The Auditor-General indicated that it could not obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that disciplinary steps were taken against officials who had incurred irregular as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure.


  1. The Committee stated that the current situation is not ideal and that a number of targets have not been met. It believes that until the systemic issues are addressed, such as the Organisational structure and the vacancies in strategic posts, the Department is unlikely to improve its performance.  It was further stressed with regret that the Minister and Deputy Minister could not attend the meeting of 15 May 2020, as some issues could only be responded to adequately by the Executive Authority.  The Committee noted that the Deputy Minister has since been delegated certain DMV responsibilities from April 2020, which include facilitating a credible database and finalising the Organisational Structure.


  1. The Committee wanted to know about the functioning of the Appeals Board, its members, how often it sits, how many and the kind of appeals it is receiving.


  1. The Committee enquired about the skills training of military veterans and especially how the Department is promoting these skills to ensure the subsequent placement of military veterans. The Department indicated that Government is piloting issues such as the “Township Economy” and the “Care Economy” where focus is placed on benefiting historically disadvantaged communities. The Department indicated that they are liaising with such initiatives to ensure that military veterans also benefit from such initiatives.


  1. The Liberation History is important, especially for future generations and the Committee wanted to know how the Department plans to promote this awareness as part of sub-programme 4: Heritage, Memorials, Burials and Honours of Programme 4.




The PCODMV identified the following areas that will be subject to monitoring by the Committee throughout the 2020/21 financial year and beyond:


  1. The Committee commended the Department on the internal measures taken to combat the spread of the pandemic and encouraged it to further enhance and follow through on these efforts.


  1. The Department indicated that the total budgetary impact for internal and external measures, will be included in the Special Adjustment Budget where guidelines have recently been published by National Treasury. While welcoming these measures to assist military veterans and their dependents, the Committee recommended that the department develop and finalise the reprioritisation as soon as possible in order to support the military veterans’ community and give feedback to the Committee on this aspect.


  1. The Committee stressed that it quite familiar with the process to amend an act and once again queried the timelines given that this process has first been mooted five years ago. The Committee therefore strongly encouraged the Department to speed up these processes as the amendments will assist to streamline the service delivery processes of the Department.


  1. The Committee was not impressed that certain policies are in draft format while others are new but that these benefits have been delivered and question how such a situation can be justified. However, given the importance of the policies to deliver benefits, the Committee recommended that these processes should be speeded up and that the Department should report on a quarterly basis on the status of these policies.


  1. The Committee welcomed the response regarding access to military hospitals and sickbays and directed that the Department should continuously ensure that military veterans have such access and that challenges in this regard should be dealt with expeditiously.


  1. The Department indicated that they co-managed the delivery of houses through the National Department of Human Settlement and that this does not require Service Level Agreements with provinces. Given the under-performance of the Department in delivering houses, the Committee recommended that the Department update it on a quarterly basis on the progress to meet this year’s housing target (710) and to inform it timeously of challenges in this regard.


  1. The Committee strongly emphasised that the Department should enhance its efforts to make subsided public transport available to military veterans as soon as possible, as many are indigent, rural-based and access to subsidised public transport will not only alleviate their plight but facilitate improved access to benefits and services. The Committee therefore recommended that the Department should update it on progress in this regard on a quarterly basis.


  1. The Committee wants specific feedback on the target of employment opportunities for military veterans at the quarterly meetings, as employment opportunities will make military veterans less reliant on the Department.


  1. Regarding the Zeal Health claim against the Department, the Committee stressed that since this matter has been coming on since at least 2016, it wants the Department to update it on this matter on a regular basis till the case is resolved.


  1. The Committee took note of the slow progress to have a credible database and reminded the Department that they are to provide feedback in this regard at the next quarterly meeting. The Committee recommended, once again, that more effort should be put into verifying and cleaning the database given its centrality for planning and budgeting.


  1. The implementation of the Skills Audit recommendations is an issue that is viewed as crucial to the Committee, and it was taken aback that incorrect information has been provided to it in this regard. The Committee therefore insists that the Department, at its next meeting, provide it with the correct information as also proposed by the Deputy Minister. The Committee further stressed that it expects disciplinary actions to be taken against DMV employees who have wilfully provided wrong information to Parliament.


  1. The Committee recommended that the Department should give it feedback on the revised education policy and whether it has encountered any challenges in this regard, as well as the budgetary allocations for these institutions, at the next quarterly meeting.


  1. The Committee recommended that it should receive continuous briefings on the progress with the implementation of the Change Management strategy. The Committee further recommended that if the necessary skills to drive the change management is not resident in the Department, they should approach the DPSA/PSC to assist them with the technical skills. In addition, the Committee wants the Department to brief it regularly on its Consequence Management efforts, with the Deputy Minister in attendance.


  1. The Deputy Minister responded to some of the systemic issues such as the Organisational Structure, filling of leadership vacancies and change management. He agreed that he should be kept to his delegated responsibilities, and that these should be made available to the Committee. The Committee thus recommended that the Deputy Minister periodically update the Committee on these issues.


  1. The Department indicated that the Appeals Board has been in place for five years and that it is currently chaired by Mr Mavuso Msimang. The Committee recommended that a meeting with the Appeals Board be scheduled as soon as possible to address its concerns.


  1. The Committee encouraged the Department to enhance its efforts to place military veterans who have completed their skills development training and to ensure that it liaise with other government departments regarding initiatives that can benefit military veterans and their dependents.


  1. The Department agreed on the importance of the Liberation History and stated that it prioritises this whenever the opportunity arises. The Committee commended the Department on this and encouraged it to further enhance this noteworthy endeavour.



Report to be considered. 


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