Pretoria – More than 1 000 military veterans in Pretoria had turned-up on Friday to update their status and to receive their healthcare cards from the Department of Military of Veterans.
Of the total number, 470 had received their cards while the majority had to update their statuses. The cards will among other things enable them to access medical care at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria and where possible some will be placed for employment in other government departments.
According to Xolisa Morolo, Chief Director: Health and Wellness from the department, about 12 000 military veterans are expected to show-up across all provinces.
“We will be moving to other provinces in search of other people,” Morolo said, adding that some of the veterans had their force numbers while others didn’t.
Earlier this week, the Department of Military Veterans started with the process of verifying military veterans that were not part of the integration process during the formation of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in 1994.
This comprised of members from the Azanian National Liberation Army Military Veterans Association (AZANLAMVA), Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) as well as the Azanian People’s Liberation Army Military Veterans Association (APLAMVA).
The Director General of the Department of Military Veterans, Tsepe Motumi explained earlier this week that the issuing of the healthcare cards is a significant step in the direction of ensuring that the department rolls out the social benefits stipulated in the Military Veterans Act, no 18 of 2011.
The department has established a verification panel of five members from the former Non-Statutory Forces to execute the verification process.
Most of those who turned-up indicated that they were satisfied with the process.
General Secretary of the South African Defence Force Military Veterans Association Daniel Matlala told SAnews that they were pleased with the process.
“This shows us that government is beginning to recognise us,” he said, adding that more time was needed to afford people to avail themselves.
The schedule for issuing these cards will be as follows, 12 - 13 March, cards were issued at Gauteng in Lenasia, catering for Soweto, Johannesburg South, Vaal and the West Rand.
On 14 – 15 March, issuing is taking place at sickbay Gauteng in Gezina, Pretoria. It will cater for Pretoria and neighbouring North West areas such as Brits.
On 19 March, it will take place at sickbay Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape and on 22 March, the issuing will take place at the sickbay East London and Eastern Cape. The date for Port Elizabeth will be announced soon.
On 26 March, issuing of cards will take place at sickbay Heidelburg, Gauteng. All those who come for their healthcare cards should bring their green barcoded Identification Documents. For more information the military veterans, their dependants as well as associations can contact the department on (012) 671-1890 and 076 402 9070 or 078 099 2564. – SAnews.gov.za