Last year the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Office of the President rejected 12 328 applicants for war veteran status, thus disqualifying them from enjoying State benefits for having contributed to the country’s independence.
Presidential Affairs Minister Frans Kapofi revealed this when he motivated the budget for the Veterans Affairs Ministry in the National Assembly recently, but did not go into detail as to why the applications for the 12 000 were rejected.
Also, during the same period 703 veterans were registered. Since the registration process started 29 677 applications for veterans status have been approved.
A total of 1 621 beneficiaries received once- off gratuities or lump sums, 2 088 receive monthly financial assistance and 888 Ex-Plan combatants and veterans, including former Robben Island and Kaikanachab prisoners received improvement welfare grants.
The department offered medical assistance to 33 veterans for various medical appliances and payment for medical treatment, while psychosocial counselling was conducted among veterans, which also included spiritual counselling.
A total of 231 veterans and dependents of the veterans received funding to further their studies in the field of their choice.
Financial assistance was also rendered for funerals and the erection of tombstones to facilitate the burial of 408 veterans.
The department also acquired six farms, which benefitted 14 families who were rehabilitated, in terms of stock fencing, water infrastructure and de-bushing.
Ninety-eight houses were constructed for veterans, bringing the total number of houses built and provided to war veterans thus far to 232.
No less than 3 910 individual veterans’ projects were funded and implemented for veterans to improve their livelihoods. To date, 9 257 projects have been funded.
Under the Liberation Struggle Heritage programme, two sites – one at Outapi and one at Omuthiya – were identified for the establishment of outdoor museums, Kapofi said.
As part of its mandate to register veterans and provide socio-economic support to such veterans, many challenges were faced in the implementation of these service areas, which prompted Veterans Affairs to engage in Business Process Re- Engineering (BPR).
(BPR) is one of the reform initiatives being implemented in the public service to streamline processes and bring about efficient and effective service delivery to clients.
He said the Ministry of Veterans Affairs has decided to subject the registration of veterans and individual veterans projects to BPR.