Educational support for military veterans, dependents

Pretoria - About 9000 military veterans and their dependents will this year be furthering their education - thanks to bursaries from the Department of Military Veterans (DMV).

Of the 9000 beneficiaries, there are 5000 continuing students while the rest, 4000, constitutes new beneficiaries.

“Provision of quality education to military veterans and dependents continues to be a priority in the department. Education is a constitutional right of military veterans and their dependents, as it is for all the citizens of South Africa,” Department’s Acting Director-General Max Ozinsky said on Wednesday.

However, the increase in the demand for education support has presented huge financial and administrative challenges, Ozinsky said.

“The challenges are being attended to through consultations with various stakeholders, such as National Treasury, the Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education and other relevant institutions,” said Ozinsky.

He also called on stakeholders, business, labour and civil society to help by working with the department in ensuring that equality education is provided to military veterans and their dependants.

“This will go a long way in contributing to sustainable, social and economic development of the country, as well as enhancing social cohesion and national building.”

The department has to date provided support to approximately 5800 education beneficiaries, to the tune of R142 million against the initial budget of R26.4 million in both basic and tertiary education.

The department has also noted that as they provide educational support, there are those who are trying to defraud and abuse the system by inflating tuition fees.

“We will be conducting a forensic audit to ensure that we eliminate fraud and deal decisively with those responsible,” warned Ozinsky.

As part of the Military Veterans Benefits Regulations (MVBR), military veterans also have access to critical benefits such as housing, health, burial support, pensions, job creation and placements as well as business support, among other things. - SAnews.gov.za