Tuesday 18 December 2018
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iol - 30 days ago

Daff and MK veterans at loggerheads

Broken promises and alleged exploitation has left a group of military veterans feeling hopeless and misled by the Department of Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries(Daff).

The veterans’ group alleges that following a consultation, they were promised three-year contracts directly with the department on an at-sea anti-poaching programme. “We had been working for the department under a service provider. After the contract ended with the first service provider, we were then told to wait until another was appointed,” said Baphiwe Godlo, an ex-uMkhonto we Sizwe soldier. “Our concern was how does the unavailability of a service provider become our problem?” The group, which originally comprised 38 veterans, say it wants Minister Senzo Zokweni’s recommendations - following their consultations - to be implemented and want to work directly for the department. “We admit it was a good call to get military veterans to fight poaching at sea because of the training and experience we have, but we deserve good contracts and better conditions.” They demand as part of level five contracts promised to them, a danger allowance, overtime, annual increases, a pension fund as well as medical aid. Daff confirmed Zokweni approved the submission. “They are not employed yet because the department was having challenges on money that should be their payments and benefits. We have engaged Department of Environmental Affairs to implement the minister’s decision so we will transfer the money to DEA,” said spokesperson Khaya Nkwanyana.

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