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DEFENCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 April 2002
DEFENCE BILL: DELIBERATIONS
Chair: Ms T Modise (ANC)
Defence Bill [B60-2001]
Amendments proposed by department (see Appendix)
Department delegation: Mr J Rathebe, Director: Legal Services; Mr Motumi, Chief director: Policy and Planning; Maj Gen v/d Poel, Director: Human Resources
The Committee continued its line-by-line review of the Defence Bill (B60-2001) looking at Chapter 9 Employment in the Defence Force. Proposed amendments to the Bill were tabled by the Department of Defence. There are public hearings on this Bill on the 21 & 22 May. Formal deliberations will begin on 28 May.
Clause 52: Commissioned Officers in the Defence Force.
Ms Modise commented that commissioned officers must relinquish dual citizenship and declare their allegiance to South Africa.
Mr Schmidt (DP) queried the reference to the Exemption Board in Clause 52 (6) (b) (1) given that there is no provision for conscription.
An amendment tabled to Clause 52 (5) that all persons given temporary commission hold their commissions for terms determined by the Minister.
Clause 53: Pay, salaries and entitlements
There was a lengthy discussion about allowances paid to members whilst on duty outside South Africa, and whether these should be taxed in South Africa. The matter was not resolved, and deferred to another occasion.
The DoD tabled an amendment providing for a second subclause stating: If no agreement contemplated in subsection (1) can be reached in the Military Bargaining Council, the Minister may, after consideration of any advisory report by the Military Arbitration Board and with the approval of the Minister of Finance, determine the pay, salaries and entitlements contemplated in that subsection.
Clause 54: Protection of members on active service.
The DoD tabled an amendment, subclause (6), stating: For purposes of this section "member" includes an employee deployed with the Defence Force.
Clause 55: Compensation in case of injury or disability:
Mr Groenewald (FF) referred to Clause 55 (14) and asked what constitutes "reasonable time". The proposal was accepted that any application must be completed as soon as possible, and not later than within 12 months of application.
Ms Modise referred to Clause 55 (16) and suggested deleting the words "by Parliament" since the Defence budget includes such compensation.
In Clause 55 (17) she queried whether tax-free is still applicable given tax realignments. The DoD personnel will investigate.
The DoD tabled an amendment, subclause (20), stating: For purposes of this section "member" includes an employee deployed with the Defence Force.
Clause 56: Obligation to serve in time of war, state of national defence or state of emergency:
Mr Schmidt wondered if Clause 56 (1) meant any person's service is automatically extended for the duration, and that he is unable to retire. He suggested that state of emergency must be defined in terms of the South African Constitution in Chapter 1 of the Bill relating to definitions.
Clause 58 Legal representation for members
The Chair felt that other means should be found to protect material interests of the State. A debate ensued on 58(1) and (2) without conclusion.
Clause 59 and 60 agreed to.
Clause 62 Discipline
It was noted that the DoD plan to table a Military Discipline Bill later this year that will supplement the Military Discipline Code in existence.
Clause 63 Designation of areas for training
The Chair noted that this was understandable in times of war, not in peace. Deprivation (not expropriation) can be justified if it is for temporary use.
She suggested that all comments regarding private property, expropriation and environmental laws also refer to the Constitution.
The Department and the State Law Advisors will relook at 63(2) so that it is in line with the Constitution.
It was also suggested that after usage, the department should issue a certificate of safety.
The afternoon session was not minuted. The Minister of Defence briefed the Committee about the re-tabling brief the Committee about the retabling of the NCACC Bill sometime after 6 May 2002.
AMENDMENT PROPOSED: DEFENCE BILL [B 60-2001]
1. On page 6, from line 22, to omit the definition of "directives".
2. On page 6, in line 29, to omit "too the Department".
2. On page 6, from line 35, to omit the definition of "instructions".
1. On page 8, in line 5, after "Constitution," to insert "and the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No.1 of 1999)".
1. That the following be a new clause:
Secretary for Defence and Chief of Defence Force exercise powers under direction of Minister
4. Subject to section 202(2) of the Constitution, the powers vested in the Secretary for Defence and Chief of the Defence Force by or under this Act must be exercised subject to and in accordance with any directions of the Minister.
1. On pages, from line 17, to omit subsection (2).
1. On page 9, after line 7, to insert the following paragraph:
(e) must provide the Chief of the Defence Force with comprehensive instructions requiring the Chief of the Defence Force to issue orders and directives and to give commands to any specified member regarding the exercise of any power delegated or the performance of any duty assigned to that member by the Secretary for Defence as head and accounting officer of the Department of Defence;
1. On page Sin line 12, after "powers" to insert "and assignment of duties".
2. On page 9, in line 14, after "power" to insert "and assign any duty".
1. On page 23, after line 57, to insert the following subsection:
(2) If no agreement contemplated in subsection (1) can be reached in the Military Bargaining Council, the Minister may, after consideration of any advisory report by the Military Arbitration Board and with the approval of the Minister if Finance, determine the pay, salaries and entitlements contemplated in that subsection.
1. On page 24, after line 40, to insert the following subsection:
(6) For the purposes of this section "member" includes an employee deployed with the Defence Force.
1. On page 26, after line 1, to insert the following subsection:
(20) For the purposes of this section "member" includes an employee deployed with the Defence Force.
1. On page 27, in line 22, after "acted" to insert "negligently,".
2. On page 27, in line 27, to omit "member" and to substitute "Department".
3. On page 27, in line 27, to omit "Department" and to substitute "State".
4. On page 27, after line 31, to insert the following subsection:
(4) For the purposes of this section "member" includes an employee deployed with the Defence Force.
1. On page 33, from line 1, to omit all the words after "(a)" up to and including the second "as" in line 3.
2. On page 33, in line 4, to omit "related".
3. On page 33, from line 11, to omit paragraph (f).
4. On page 34, in line 30, to omit "Defence Force" and to substitute "Department of Defence".
5. On page 34, from line 31, to omit subsection (2) and to substitute:
(2) Any regulation made under subsection (1)-
(a) which may result in financial expenditure for the State may only be made subject to sections 63 and 64 of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No.1 of 1999), and with the approval of the Minister of Finance; and
(h) relating to the terms and conditions of service of members of the Defence Force other than pay, salaries and entitlements contemplated in section 53, may be made with retrospective effect for a period not exceeding 12 months, except where such regulations provide for-
(i) any reduction in the privileges of members; or
(ii) the imposition of penalties.
1. On page 43, after line 42, to insert the following paragraph:
(19) Any person who fails to deal with public funds in an honest and accountable manner, fails to use the property and other resources of the State efficiently or uses such funds, property or other resources for unauthorised or unofficial purposes, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.
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