Pension benefits payout delayed, but military veterans will receive R1 250 grant

December 22, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja



The Department of Defence and Military Veterans’ has confirmed that the payment of pension benefits to former soldiers has been delayed.

Deputy President David Mabuza previously announced that military veterans would receive a pension-pay out of R4 962 per month from 1 December.

‘Pension processes’

This, however, will only start early next year, according to Defence Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla.

“The process to roll out the pension pay-out will commence after the lapse of the 30 days tabling in Parliament.

“The department will in the meantime take in applications and process them accordingly through the government pension processes and system,” he said during a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday.

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Makwetla blamed “unavoidable” administrative challenges on the delays of the payouts.

“One of these was the requirement that the Draft Pension Regulations and the Pension Benefit Access form should be tabled in Parliament.

“These were tabled in Parliament early in December 2022. This will in turn legalise the operationalisation of the pension pay-out to military veterans,” he said.

Watch the briefing below:

The deputy minister called on military veterans to register with the department in order to avoid any further delays.

“A fully completed military veterans pension benefit application form should be accompanied by an identity document and certified birth/marriage/partnership certificate and service certificate clearly indicating the force number. Military veterans are urged to apply in person or through registered post.”

Defense Minister Thandi Modise pointed out that not all veterans would benefit from the pension payout.

SRD grant

Meanwhile, Makwetla also revealed that that military veterans will now be paid Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant amounting to R1 250 per month.

“This will be a significant improvement on the previous R350 social relief support paid to veterans. The department should find alternative ways to implement such support in an effective and equitable manner to ensure that all those eligible do benefit,” he said.

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He reiterated government’s commitment to providing pension benefits for military veterans, saying the department is “working around the clock” to ensure that the payments will be made as soon as possible.

“Government is fully conscious and aware of the financial challenges facing military veterans particularly in the current difficult economic times, characterised by poor economic growth, joblessness and persistent poverty,” he said.

The department has confirmed that an allocation of R37 million would be made available in the 2022/2023 financial year.

‘Insult’

Some military veterans have rejected government’s offer arguing that it was far below the R4 million per person, which the former soldiers demanded as reparation.

Last month, Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veteran Association (MKMVA) Moses Mabhida region leader, Babsy Sithole, described the government’s offer as an “insult”.

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“As things stand, we don’t even know how the government arrived at the conclusion that soldiers can live on R4 900. To make things worse, we were never consulted on the matter – they did it on their own,” he said.

The war vets, who are also demanding free housing, have in recent months been staging protests around the country over what they believe to be the government’s failure to attend to their grievances.

Additional reporting by Clive Ndou