The president said the veterans had presented their grievances in a “constructive, principled manner” and assured them they would be resolved.
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has assured Struggle veterans who fought against apartheid that the issues they have raised with the government regarding social and economic support will be addressed, his office said on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa made the commitment on Tuesday during a meeting of a task team set up to deal with matters related to military veterans’ benefits, the Presidency said in a statement.
“A country that does not look after its military veterans, who sacrificed to help all South Africans to attain freedom, is a country with no appreciation of its foundation and past, and therefore a country with no future,” it quoted Ramaphosa as saying.
The president said the veterans presented their grievances in a “constructive, principled manner” and assured them they would be resolved.
In November, a group of military veterans marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, which house the Presidency, to hand over a list of demands to Ramaphosa including compensation for the sacrifices they made during the fight against apartheid.
They wanted, among other things, better living conditions, employment, decent housing and medical care and the institution of veterans into South Africa’s law enforcement agencies like the police service and national defence force.
“We demand employment in state-owned enterprises such as SAA, Prasa, Eskom and Transnet. We also demand business and empowerment opportunities in line with the Military Veterans Act,” one of their spokespeople Percy Phake said.
Deputy President David Mabuza, who heads the task team on veterans, said their integration into the economy and army was just a matter of time and that the government, through the department of small business development, was ready to assist veterans looking to start their own enterprises.
– African News Agency (ANA)