Burundi Appropriation Bill: discussion; Committee Programme: finalisation

Defence

12 March 2002
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Meeting report

JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE

DEFENCE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE
13 March 2002
BURUNDI APPROPRIATION BILL: DISCUSSION; COMMITTEE PROGRAMME: FINALISATION;

Chairperson:
Mr JN Mashimbye (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Funding for the SANDF participation in the peace process in Burundi (Appendix 1)
Burundi Protection Support Appropriation Bill (B10-2002)
Committee programme 2002 (Appendix 2)

SUMMARY
The Committee was briefed by the Director of Budget of the Defence Department on the participation of the South African Defence Force in the peace process in Burundi. It also adopted the interim annual programme for 2002.

MINUTES
General Rautie Rautenbach: Director, Budget Department of Defence, briefed the Committee on funding for the SANDF participation in the peace process in Burundi. He explained that the deployment of personnel is critical in the events leading up the inauguration of personnel in Burundi. South Africa was requested by the Arusha Peace Process leaders to contribute military personnel for protection tasks for returning exile leaders before the interim government is inaugurated in Burundi.

Discussion
Mr HC Schmidt (DP) asked how much the Department has budgeted for legal costs in Burundi. Especially in light of the fact that the Army is presently involved in litigation in the normal course of its duty in Burundi.

Mr Rautenbach said legal costs are considered as any other costs in the daily routine of the Department.

Mr VB Ndlovu (IFP) asked if a political decision is taken, say in August, to have the Army deployed for a peace mission will the Department of Defence come back to the Treasury and ask for funds.

Mr Rautenbach replied that the Department of Defence sets its Budget month by month just like any other State Department and this would cater for any future deployment.

Dr Mokgoba (PAC) asked for how long will the Defence Force be committed to these peace operations is it going to be a long or short term.

Mr Rautenbach said he honestly does not have an answer for that particular question, as it will be a political decision.

Mr Schmidt said he was not a financial wizard but wondered what would happen if donors met their obligations.

Mr Rautenbach said the answer is too technical the initial donor funding is given to the Defence to make up their books. In their discussion with the Treasury donor funding is given to the government not the Defence Force therefore it will go through the PFMA but the Department have to balance its books.

Mr SB Ntuli (ANC) asked if another crisis emanates whether the Defence Department would go back to Treasury and ask for funds.

Mr Rautenbach replied that the Department is dealing with each situation on an adhoc basis.

Mr Schmidt asked if the Department has done any budgeting or has any contingency plans if the Army is to be deployed in Zimbabwe.

Mr Rautenbach replied that the Department is not in a position to budget for peace missions that have not taken place. But in the case of Zimbabwe they have a contingency plan.

Mr PJ Schalkwyk (DP) said that the Department presently has two peace operations going; in the DRC and Burundi. Was there any financial link-up between the two operations?

Mr Rautenbach said that of course the costs have been combined.

Mr Schmidt asked what the original cost of the operation was.

Mr Rautenbach said costs have changed over time.

Mr R Jankielsohn (DP) commented that the Committee can make input into the document but the Finance Committee has the final say.

Ms T Modise (ANC) said the ANC has approached the Defence and Treasury in relation to the Budget.

The Chairperson said they will have time to discuss the merits and demerits of the peace missions. While people have sons and daughters in these countries they should be given money and other resources. They will have to discuss the politics later. He informed Members that they have received an invitation to attend the Finance Committee meeting next week.

Ms Modise informed Members that the Minister of Defence would arrive late, as he would be leading a debate on the NCAC Bill.

The Chairperson said that perhaps they should look at holding the meeting next week.

Mr Ndlovu said the suggestion by the Chairperson carries weight. Perhaps they could look at the possibility of holding the meeting next week.

Mr Schmidt said he preferred that the briefing be done before the debate on Friday.

The Chairperson said they should have a proper briefing by the Secretary of Defence or senior operational officers and not by the Minister.

Dr Mokgoba said that they should not have the meeting the following day

The Chairperson responded that they should not rush things.

Mr Schmidt said it defied logic to have a debate and then a briefing.

The Chairperson suggested that they leave the matter as it is and have the meeting the following week.

Ms Modise said she would convey that to the Minister.

Committee Programme
The Chairperson said he was pleased to announce that he has received a letter from General Nyanda.

He said that the various dates that Members may have on the programme are provisional and the issues that are indicated on it have to be achieved.

Mr Schalkwyk suggested that they visit the Army battle School.

The Chairperson said that this has been raised in the letter from the Chief of the Army.

Mr Schmidt said the time that has been set aside for consideration of the budget might not be sufficient.

The Chairperson said he has asked the Director of Budget to look at their programme.

Mr Ndlovu said that in his line of thinking they should consolidate what is contained in the letter from the Chief of the Army, their annual programme and the presentation by the Department in order to create good working relationships.

Mr Schmidt said the letter written by General Nyanda was very informative and the Committee must be aware of what is taking place in the military field.

The Chairperson concluded that they should manage the relationship between the Ministry, Defence Department and the Portfolio Committee. He informed Members that on the 4-7 April they would be visiting Burundi.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1:

Telephone:355 6217

Enquiries: J.L. Grundling


Secretary for Defence

(Finance Division)

Private Bag X175

Pretoria

0001

March 2002


The Chairperson

Joint Standing Commiffee of Parliament for Defence

FUNDING FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE PARTICIPATION IN THE

PEACE PROCESS IN BURUNDI

1. South Africa was requested by the Arusha Peace Process facilitators to contribute military personnel to perform protection tasks for the returning exiled leaders before the inauguration of the interim government in Burundi.

2. South Africa initially formed part of a coalition with Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana that was meant to participate in the deployment of military personnel. Currently it appears as though these countries will not become involved. The deployment of the SANDF personnel is critical in the events leading up to the inauguration of the transitional government and ongoing peace process and the deployment of personnel in the shortest period was necessary.

3. Defence was authorised vide a Presidential Minute dated 26 October 2001 to participate in the process. The deployment of 701 troops commenced on 28 October 2001. The actual duration of the deployment is dependent on the effective functioning of the Transitional Government and the progress of the peace process.

4. Based on the current expenditure trends (18 January 2002) the revised estimate of expenditure for a twelve month period to mobilise, deploy, sustain, rotate, and demobilise the currently deployed South African forces (701 personnel) and associated equipment amounts to RM389,154 as summarised below.

Serial

Description

2001/02 Expenditure

2002/03
Expenditure

Total

 

a

b

c

d

1.

Personnel Allowances

18,407

37,182

55,589

2.

Equipment and facilities

19,350

38,313

57,663

3.

Sustainment

14,268

28,536

42,804

4.

Aircraft chartering and transport

74,282

148,564

222,846

5.

Medical consumables and equipment

3,417

6,834

10,252

6.

Total

129,725

259,429

389,154

5. The date from which other troop contributing countries are to become involved (should this Occur), duration of the actual deployment, size of the South African contingent, exchange rates and the force requirement of the Transitional Government of Burundi will significantly influence the final estimate of expenditure.

6. Pledges to fund the deployment from the international community amounting to RM266 have been received of which RM17 has realised. Agreements with the European Union (UER9,5 million), Belgium (EUR 5,5 million) and the Netherlands (NLG 10 million) have been finalised while the agreement with the United Kingdom (GBP1,5) is at an advanced stage. The USA and Norway are considering contributing.

7. No provision exists in Defence's allocation to participate in this operation without the budget being supplemented. The timing of the deployment prevented Defence from requesting additional funds via the annual adjustments budget. Discussions with National Treasury officials have indicated that it is unlikely that another adjustments budget will be tabled.

8. To ensure regularity and propriety in terms of the Public Finance Management Act the

Minister of Finance was requested to authorise the expenditure of the deployment by exercising his

Section 16 powers. Subsequent to approval the President will be requested to indicate the period

within which Parliament and the Auditor-General is to be advised in accordance with Section 16(4)(a).

(J.L GRUNDLING)
SECRETARY FOR DEFENCE

Appendix 2:

Joint Standing Committee on Defence: Committee Programme
Challenges of Oversight on Defence

O6 MARCH 2002

A Joint Standing Committee on Defence and Portfolio Committee joint meeting with the United States War College (Senior US Air Force and Civilian Personnel)

13 MARCH 2002

Discussion and Adoption of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence Report.


20 MARCH 2002

  1. A joint meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and the Portfolio Committee on Defence to consider a final report on the Integration Process. This report has to be presented before the tabling and adoption by Parliament of the Integration Termination Bill.
  2. It is appropriate that discussions on the integration process should be discussed together with the report of the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry led by Dr. Setai.
  3. A detailed report on the shooting incident that took place in Burundi.

RECESS AS OF THE 20 MARCH - 19 APRIL 2002

23 APRIL 2002

  1. A presentation by the Ministry of Defence, Armscor and the DoD's Procurement section on a plan of action to implement the recommendations of the Joint Report on the SDP, (Report should be received from all DoD sectors involved in the SDP)

30 APRIL 2002

  1. A report on the Implementation of the DIP and NIP processes by the DoD.
  2. A report by the DTI and DoD on the plans for the implementation of recommendation 12.4 (chapter12) of the Joint Report of the SDP.

7 MAY 2002

  1. Follow-up on SDP issues arising out of the first two meetings (with a view of considering a report to Parliament)
  2. A report on all Procurement plans for 2002 by the Chief of Procurement/Defence Secretary.

22 MAY 2002

  1. Preparations for the Defence Vote (2002). A report on issues around the Plan, Programme and Defence Budget.
  2. A briefing on Human Resources Strategy 2010
  3. A Report from the Military Ombudsperson.

NB. This meeting may be brought forward depending on finalisation of date for Defence Budget Vote


24 - 26 MAY 2002

Reserve Force follow up workshop (Joint Standing Committee on Defence-workgroup in consultation with the DoD to convene this workshop)

29 MAY 2002

  1. A briefing by the MoD on the Military Strategic Appreciation.
  2. A briefing and discussion on the South African National Defence Force troops deployed in the DRC, Burundi and elsewhere.

04 JUNE 2002

    1. A briefing on the Service Corps
    1. Issues on matters of intake
    2. Progress registered

12 JUNE 2002

A report and analysis of the state of readiness of the South African National Defence Force after budget allocations.

19 JUNE 2002

Briefing on Estimate Expenditure for the next year.

26 JUNE 2002

  1. A discussion of the White Paper on the Defence Industry with a view to finalization.
  2. Review of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence Programme for the second half of the year.

28 JUNE - 5 JULY 2002

Study tour of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence to China

22 - 28 JULY 2002

The South African National Defence Force is requested to organize a programme for members of Parliament to be able to interact with South African National Defence Force troops as widely as is possible, throughout the country in their military bases.

The Joint Standing Committee on Defence would like to invite the public on the final day to experience our Air Power demonstration in Louis Trichardt.

MEETINGS TAKING PLACE DURING

MARCH - APRIL RECESS

4 - 7 APRIL 2002

Visiting the South African National Defence Force troops deployed to the DRC, Burundi and maybe Ethiopia.

26 MARCH 2002

Whole day meeting in Pretoria

  1. A report on the Reserve Forces workshop by the Joint Standing Committee on Defence work group on the subject (Hon. James Ngculu and Dr R. Williams)
  2. A report on rationalization and transformation in the Armed Forces as whole (vision, plans, and targets)
  3. A meeting with the Canadian Military Ombudsperson.

NOTES:

  1. The challenges facing our oversight work for the current year are mainly to monitor the implementation of established Defence Policies. To achieve this goal we should endeavour to interact with the DoD and the South African National Defence Force at areas and issues of policy execution. The programme of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence should be read together with that of the Portfolio Committee.
  2. In a meeting of the chairperson's forum it was agreed that the dates indicated are only guidelines and are subject to change for a plethora of reasons. Both the DoD and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence should endeavour to achieve the contents of the programme generally within the period allocated.
  3. The DoD may suggest date changes well in advance.
  4. The tabling of reports before Parliament will also depend on the schedule of the House.


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