Afloat Pre-positioning Force by wuzhengqin

VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 21

									   DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY VETERANS
RESPONSE TO PUBLIC HEARINGS SUBMISSIONS



             MILITARY VETERANS BILL
                   25 MAY 2011



military veterans
          Department:       1             1
        Military Veterans
 REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                 AIM

-    To brief the Portfolio Committee on Defence on the Department of
     Military Veterans response to the Public Hearing submissions on the
     Military Veterans Bill held on 29-31 March 2011.
-    DMV appreciates the opportunity to present its response to the PCD
     with regard to the Public Hearing on the Military Veterans Bill.
-    DMV has taken note of the concerns expressed by approximately 14
     groups/organizations during the Pubic Hearing.
-    DMV further notes and appreciates the submissions made by other
     State Departments including Transport, Health, Human Settlement and
     Social Development on the implementation of the Bill in their
     operational and strategic plans.
-    Department has also taken note of issues raised by honourable
     members of PCD during
    military veterans the preliminary briefing and public hearings.
              Department:            2                                 2
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                     INTRODUCTION CONT.

-    The presentation proposes to deal with issues arising from the hearings
     that impact directly on the proposed Military Veterans Bill.
-    DMV takes note that all parties who made submissions during the
     Public Hearing support the policy perspective of the Bill.
-    Each Party that presented during the public hearings sought to
     influence the Bill in one direction or another rather than reject its
     policy objectives, this is very encouraging.




    military veterans
              Department:             3                                    3
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                              SCOPE

Response
-Section 1
-Section 2
-Section 4
-Section 5
-Section 8
-Section 9
-Section 11
-Section 13
-Section 20

 military veterans
            Department:         4     4
          Military Veterans
   REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 1

-       The concern raised relate to the definition of “Military Veterans”.
        One suggestion is that this definition should include non-military
        veterans.
-      Response: This Bill is Military Veterans Bill and deals exclusively
       with persons or group of persons regarded as military veterans.
       This is a deliberate policy decision of government of the day.
       The inclusion of non-military veterans would result in expansion of
       the scope of the Bill and deviate from the policy stand point.
       It is our view that auxiliary services personnel must be dealt with
       in another legislation. As this a policy matter, we therefore
       recommend that the Bill should not extend its scope to include
       auxiliary services but restrict itself to military veterans.



    military veterans
              Department:             5                                       5
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                               Section 1 Cont
      The second issue in sec 1 that concerned public was “dishonorable
      discharge” as used in the definition of Mil Vet
-   Response: Bill establishes Appeal Board to attend to issues such as
    complaints relating to dishonourable discharge. We acknowledge that
    this has enormous impact as members of former forces may lose their
status as mil vet and subsequently forfeit benefits they would have been
entitled to had they not been dishonourably discharged. In order to minimise
the impact of this and eliminate possibility of unfair discharge, the Appeal
Board will have jurisdiction to review each discharge on a case by case basis.
-     The third issue raised was the determination and proof of legality of the
      dependent.
-     Response: The Regulations will provide for the requirements of
      documentary proof;

military veterans
             Department:             6                                    6
           Military Veterans
    REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                              Section 1 Cont

- There is a concern about the usage of the word “completed training” in
   the definition, the understanding is that the training must be completed
   before one may qualify as mil vet, will this cover those who couldn’t
   complete the training?
- Response: We accept that this may create confusion as to when one
   qualifies as far as training is concerned, we therefore propose that the
   definition be revised to include people who couldn’t complete training
   for reasons beyond their control e.g injury or disability during training.
 - Clarity was sought on the role of mil veterans in SANDF.
    Response: Veterans plays no active role in SANDF. Mil Vets no
   longer render service in SANDF but are former members of SANDF
   or other former constituent forces.
 military veterans
            Department:               7                                     7
          Military Veterans
   REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                              Sect 1 Cont

-The concern is that the definition may exclude the dependant of the
  deceased mil vet in its current form. The following is suggested:
   Insertion: or at the time of the military vet’s demise was…

  Response: We are of the opinion that the provision should be retained
  as it is, it covers the dependants of the Military Veterans after the
   commencement of the Act, not at a certain time of the Military
   Veterans’ life.




 military veterans
            Department:             8                                     8
          Military Veterans
   REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 1 Cont.

-    General Imprecision of the Definition of “mil vet”, the concern is that
     other military forces may be excluded & that military forces be
     specified,
-    Response: The Policy Frame Work stipulates and the Bill confirms
     that status of being Mil Vet is conferred by virtue of military
     participation in conflict/struggle for freedom, and not exclusively by
     being a member of an military forces. SADF members who integrated
     and then exited SANDF after 1994 are considered as mil veterans.
     Rights in the Bill accrue to individual members in their personal
     capacity, therefore they will qualify as mil vet even if they are no
     longer members of the former forces.


    military veterans
              Department:              9                                       9
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                               Section 2

-   What is the purpose of the interpretation clause in this Bill?
-   Response: The purpose is to assist the reader in interpreting the Act
    properly so that the reader will know that the status of being Mil vet or
    being a dependant of Mil Vet does not automatically entitle you to the
    benefits provided for in the Act as each mil vet or dependent are still to
    be subject to the means test to determine eligibility to benefits and the
    extent of such benefits.
                              Section 4

-   This Section provides that the President is Patron-in-Chief of Military
    Veterans. The title of the section is Authority of the President, the
    concern here is that the section seems to make President patron in chief
    only and does not deal with any authority of the President as the
    heading suggest.

-   Response: We agree with this assertion that the provisions do not
    address the President’s authority and recommend that the heading of
    this section be amended to read “Patron-in-Chief’.
                                Section 5

-    This section lists the benefits the Mil Vets and dependants may be
     entitled to. The first concern is the accrual of benefits, whether benefits
     are meant for mil vet or their dependants.
-    Response: The benefits are for both mil vet and dependants if they
     satisfy the means test. Both are beneficiaries, but may not qualify for
     all or every benefit listed in sec 5. Some benefits are applicable to all
     mil vets e.g honouring and memorialising while others will depend on
     needs of each mil vet.




    military veterans
              Department:              12                                     12
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Sec 5 Cont.


-    Can mil vet receives military pension or another benefit benefits ito
     Bill?
-    Response: The means test will determine the extent of the benefit, yes
     the mil veteran may receive a benefit over and above the military
     pension, and the mil vet may also qualify for other benefits provided
     for in sec 5 of the Bill over and above the existing military benefit?




    military veterans
              Department:            13                                   13
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 5 Cont.

-    Other issue relating to benefit is age, the concern is that the Bill seems
     to be silent on the issue of age and benefiting.

-    Response: Military veteran’s eligibility/qualification for the benefits is
     not based on age or disability but on means test results. Mil Vets don’t
     qualify because they are young or old but because they have passed the
     means test prescribed by Regulations, the same applies to their
     dependants. We therefore recommend that the status quo remains.




    military veterans
              Department:              14                                     14
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 8

-    Sec 8 deals with DG’s function in respect of SANMVA, concern is on
     8(3)(a) which provides that mil org is not obliged to join SANMVA

-    Response: This provision entrenches the constitutional freedom of
     association entrenched in sec 18 of the Constitution. Mil organisations
     have the right to associate with the Ass of their choice. We recommend
     status quo be retained.




    military veterans
              Department:             15                                  15
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 8 Cont.

-    The second issue in sec 8 relates to the recognition of forces, the
     suggestion is that the Bill must also recognise forces’ mother bodies.

-    Response: DMV’s view is that Bill does not speak to political parties
     directly, but speak to their military forces. Individuals are regarded as
     mil vet due to their military participation in struggle/political conflict,
     therefore their status is more historical than their affiliation to political
     parties, we recommend status quo remain.




    military veterans
              Department:                16                                      16
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 9

-    Section 9 deals with the functions of the Association. The concern is
     that these functions are similar to that of Council in sec 11,

-    Response: The concern is noted; functions are not the same, therefore
     there is no duplications. However, we need to elaborate on the alleged
     difference!!. We are therefore of the view that the provisions should be
     retained as they are in both clauses of the Bill.




    military veterans
              Department:             17                                     17
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 10

-    Section 10 establishes the Advisory Council on Military Veterans. The
     proposal from public is that there must be equal representation of the
     NSF in the Advisory Council

-    Response: DMV’s view is that this is not necessary as SANMVA, as
     an umbrella body of mil vet org represents the mil vet org collectively
     in the council. Sec 13(1)(b) allocates at least three seats to an
     Association. It is envisaged that these seats would have been
     collectively agreed in SANMVA and therefore representative of the
     mil vets in general.



    military veterans
              Department:             18                                   18
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 13

-    Section 13 seeks to provide for appointment of members of the
     Advisory Council. There seems to be restriction in section 13(2)(a) in
     that it restricts the membership of the Council to military veterans
     only.

-    Response: DMV is in agreement with the concern and therefore
     recommend that section 13(2)(a) be amended to remove the restriction.




    military veterans
              Department:            19                                  19
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                Section 20

-    Section 20 establishes the Military Vets Appeal Board. The suggestion
     from Doctors is that there should be a medical appeal board to deal
     with medical complaints.

-    Response: The suggestion is noted, however, we are of the view that
     the provisions should be retained as it is, since the Appeal Board may
     consists of multidisciplinary persons including medical profession
     personnel; therefore the Appeal Board will be able to attend to any
     matter before it. Where any matter before the Board requires an input
     of specialists it is for the Board to source that input and advice.



    military veterans
              Department:             20                                  20
            Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
                                    General

-    The overwhelming view of the civil society is that Bill must address the needs
     of non-military activists and members of the society, i.e victims of human
     rights abuse, veterans of struggle, auxiliary services, etc. Although the
     historical context of the proposal is appreciated, the expansion of the scope of
     the Bill in the proposed manner will extend the reach of the Bill beyond the
     domain of a mil vets department. The PCD may be aware that govt had in the
     past set up means to address the broader issue of human rights violations e.g.
     reparations under the TRC Act etc.

-    The rights enshrined in this Bill are “socio-economic” in nature therefore must
     be achieved progressively depending on the availability of resources. The Bill
     should therefore be carefully worded not to posit these rights as available for
     the taking on demand irrespective of the availability of resources. Socio-
     economic rights are provided for in ss 26-28 of the Constitution.



    military veterans
               Department:                21                                        21
             Military Veterans
     REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

								
To top