S.Africa: New department to support veterans

It is all systems go for the launch on April 1 of the Department of Military Veterans, which will be partially separated from the Department of Defence.

The chief of human resources for the Defence Department, Lieutenant-General Derick Mgwebi, said in Pretoria yesterday that the department would be looking specifically at the wellbeing of military veterans.

“The State President Jacob Zuma and Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu have acknowledged that it is high time to recognise the veterans’ sacrifice to the country,” he said.

The department will apparently have its own minister and director-general and it will also see to officers who serve in the reserve force.

Outlining some of the challenges faced by the army, Mgwebi said young people were reluctant to join the reserve force as they were looking for permanent jobs.

They were also looking at changing the training of soldiers to include qualifications beyond the army.

“Gone are the days when soldiers were just trained as soldiers,” he said.

Source: citizen online, 20100305

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