More hurry up and wait

2012-07-16 00:00

THE registration of military veterans is “chaotic”, while even the website of the Council of Military Veterans Organisation (CMVO) has been sabotaged.

“We are terribly disappointed at the way the registration has been handled, even though we totally support the principle as provided for by the Veterans Act,” the CMVO’s Godfrey Giles said at the weekend.

This after veterans countrywide have been sent from pillar to post, telephones have been left largely unanswered, and confusing prescriptions regarding documentation required for the process has further muddied the waters.

According to Giles problems started arising as early as last year, when registration started. The Department of Military Veterans promised the veteran organisations at the time that they could be involved in the next round of registrations to help them run more smoothly.

“The CMVO even developed a fast telephonic procedure whereby a veteran could phone his force number through and establish whether his name appears on the register of veterans.

“The same procedure could have been followed with SMSs, but then the Department of Military Veterans insisted on having an unnecessarily complicated plan whereby people had to drive hundreds of kilometres to queue up just to hear that they are, in fact, registered.

“Moreover, certified documents like title deeds are not required. Some of the veterans went out of their way to get all these documents ready, and then only their names and contact numbers were requested at the reporting points.”

Giles said his association’s personnel were overwhelmed with telephone inquiries. Their website was contaminated with a malicious virus that caused Google to place a warning on it.

He says the process could have run much more smoothly if the veterans had been able to register through their own respective representative organisations. The correct information could also have reached them more quickly.

“In that way the Department of Veterans also would not have had to pay reserve force soldiers to staff the reporting centres.”

Giles recommends that all those who believe they are veterans should become involved in the different organisations.

Anyone wishing to join the CMVO may e-mail his details to registration@cmvo.org.

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