WINDHOEK - The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Martin Andjaba, recently announced that N$355 million would be needed to pay veterans’ monthly allowances (subvention grant).
Andjaba made this announcement during the 2019/2020 budget motivation in parliament recently.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, under the Office of the Prime Minister, was allocated N$685 million from the tabled budget for the 2019/20 financial year.
At the end of the 2018/2019 financial year, 16 056 veterans were receiving N$2 200 subvention grant, which cost government around N$398 million.
“It is, therefore, important to note that this number is not static, and would increase as it is anticipated that about 1 679 veterans will be retiring from active service during the 2019/2020 financial year,” explained Andjaba.
Breaking down the figures, Andjaba explained that the total forecast expenditure for veterans’ monthly allowance for 2019/2020 is estimated to be around N$442 million, which indicates a short fall of N$87.3 million.
According to Andjaba, N$167 million will be used for the improvement of the welfare for ex-PLAN combatants. The qualifying ex-PLAN combatants are paid in three categories depending on the qualifying criterion that such a person must have received military training and deployment.
Ex-PLAN combatants, who fought between 1959 and 1973, are receiving N$5 000, those that fought between 1974 and 1983 are receiving N$4 000 while those that fought between 1984 to 1989 are paid N$3 000.
The monthly welfare improvement grant is paid on top of the subvention grant of N$2 200.
“It is anticipated that 313 ex-PLAN combatants, who qualify for the welfare improvement grant will retire from active service. A shortfall of N$15 million is expected,” said Andjaba.
Veterans affairs received 55 279 applications from people that want recognition as veterans of the liberation struggle. Out of that number, only 26 661 were approved.