South African National Defence Force Annual Performance Plan 2012

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Defence and Military Veterans

02 May 2012
Chairperson: Mr M Motimele (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on its Annual Performance Plan. The Committee, while pleased with the strong representation from the Department, expressed concern about the lack of female representation and appealed to the Defence Force to address the matter.

The practicalities of Cross-Border Co-operation were explained as the Committee asked if it was realistic for the country to participate in this initiative. Members asked if the National Key Points were going to be revised or reduced and if the SANDF planned to partner with other structures to ensure the security of the National Key Points. The history of the National Key Points was explained and the possibility of the SANDF taking over from the South African Police in this regard. The Department had taken on the ‘Level of Department of Defence Morale’ performance indicator as a new ministerial directive to ensure that the morale of workers was constantly monitored.

The Committee questioned the Forward Deployment Capability of the SANDF about progress in this regard, and the implementation of this strategy was illustrated through the Department’s work in Dafur where personnel and logistics had to be deployed to facilitate amicable relations and support.

An DA Member asked what legal authority the SANDF used to classify information. An ANC Member found this questioning rude as it was well known that every country had information that was classified. The Committee heard explanations on how performance was measured and the difficulties in finding coherent indicators that were an accurate performance measure. The SANDF also responded to questions about Waterkloof and the plans to address the appalling situation there. Members asked about civilians servicing the army and what plans were afoot to address those tensions. The low numbers of youths in the National Youth Service were explained as the number had been reduced from an initial target of 10 000 to 2 000 due to funding cuts by National Treasury. An opposition party Member commented that the priorities in the Annual Performance Plan were not realistic – as there was no political will to budget for these priorities.

Meeting report

South African National Defence Force (SANDF) 2012/13 briefing
Dr Sam Gulube, Secretary for Defence said that this presentation would only deal with the Annual Performance Plan for this current financial year, and it would not be a report on what had happened in the past financial year. It would exclude the budget for the current financial year although there would be some budgetary indications in terms of how certain allocations had been made. He highlighted that the Annual Performance Plan was that of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and not of the Secretariat who would be invited by the Committee to present its Annual Performance Plan.

Rear Admiral Alan Green, Chief Director: Military Strategy and Planning, first provided a strategic situational analysis of the Annual Performance Plan 2012/1 He pointed out that Defence still received less than 2% of GDP, thus the SANFD would maintain only a reduced level of design. He highlighted the following areas: Budget Allocation; International Relations; International Co-ordinating Mechanisms; Government Medium Term Outcomes; International Responsibilities; Revitalisation of Reserves and the National Youth Service.

The Selected Performance Indicators were outlined with special emphasis being placed on the ‘Level of Department of Defence morale’ indicator. The SANDF strategic outputs were: mission ready capabilities; ordered commitments; defence/strategic direction and compliance with regulatory framework (see document).

Ms P Daniels (ANC) asked if with regard to Cross-Border Co-operation, the SANDF thought it practical and realistic for South Africa to participate in this initiative.

Lieutenant General
Vejaynand Ramlakam replied that other countries were not as well developed as South Africa (SA), and did not have similar capabilities. However a common understanding and good will were important and allowed for the exploration of Joint Patrols with neighbours.

Ms Daniels asked if it was the responsibility of the SANDF to safe-guard the National Key Points (NKPs); if the NKPs were going to be revised and/or reduced and could a list be provided of all the NKPs. She asked if the SANDF planned to partner with other structures to ensure the security of these NKPs.

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that SA had not formally been tasked with National Key Points.

Brigadier General Simon Qhesi, Director Planning: Department of Defence and Joint Operations, said that the responsibility for the NKPs had been in the hands of the National Defence Force up to just before 199 With the transformation process the securing of borders and the NKP was given to the police. It had appeared in the Performance Plan because the possibility existed that it might be returned as a responsibility to the SANDF. They had not yet been formally asked.

Lt Gen Ramlakam added that there were in the region of 100 to 150 National Key Points.

Ms Daniels asked if everything was in accordance with the Approved Force Design and Force Structure.

Lt Gen Ramlakam said on Force Design and Force Structure, they were referring to the 1998 Defence Review which approved a Force Design and Force Structure for the SANDF. As you know, very soon after approval, we had a major [inaudible phrase] which made achievement impossible.

Ms H Mgabadeli (ANC) asked why the Defence had decided to use the ‘Level of Department of Defence Morale’ as a performance indicator.

Brigadier General Willie Lebeleba replied that there was an awareness that this was a new indicator that the Minister of Defence had initiated from 2012 to ensure the introduction of a measurable performance indicator. The Defence Force had a Section that dealt with a Morale Survey and compiled reports on this indicator. They had started to report on this indicator as a Division.

Lt Gen Ramlakam said that a survey similar to those done by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) was done by this Section.

Ms Mgabadeli asked how the Forward Deployment Capability of the SANDF had progressed.

Rear Admiral Green used the deployment in Dafur as an example to answer this question. Dafur was quite a distance away from South Africa. Support had to be provided for deployed members in terms of logistics and personnel. A Forward Base existed from where the SANDF could operate as the environment in Dafur was not a very stable one. This necessitated amicable relations to have forces deployed in an amicable country, and the deployment of sustained funding.

Mr D Maynier (DA) asked what legal authority the SANDF had used to classify information.

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that it was not a debatable point that some information had to be classified. Military issues could not be handled in any other way. Section 36 of the Constitution, the Defence Act itself, the Defence Amendment Act and the Official Secrets Act catered adequately for dealing with classified information.

Mr Maynier asked if the SANDF merely complied with the directives of the National Treasury and asked how performance was measured.

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that finding an accurate performance measure was not an easy task. It involved how to define that which provided the oversight to achieve the maximum information and setting certain targets in a general way was a key requirement. Border control was needed. The issue of numbers did not help, although their use for reporting was useful in the reporting format. Maritime performance indicators were a science which would improve over time.

Rear Admiral Green said that an indicator had to attempt to be related to funding. The Defence Force intended to have a more military type of indicator.

With regard to performance indicators Dr Gulube said that it depended on what had to be measured and outputs. He provided examples, such as: what border, how to measure morale, how often deployment happened, the number of hours, the information available, the difference between planned amounts and realities.

Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) referred to the question asked by Mr Maynier about the classification of information and said that he did not understand the questions asked by some of the members. Every country had information that was classified. He felt that to ask that question was rude.

Mr Mlangeni asked how big a Squadron was and what was meant by a Battery.

Rear Admiral Green replied that the different environments determined the sizes of Squadrons, for example a marine Squadron differed in size to another type of squadron. The size of a Squadron depended on the environment that the type of capability found itself in.

A Battery related to smaller numbers than battalions and depended on the way capability was deployed. A Commander determined the number in a Squadron or a Battery and it depended on her/his appreciation to engage in a particular exercise operation.

The Chairperson said that the Defence Force should increase the population of women as it was a serious concern that only one woman from the Department was present at the meeting.

Mr M Nhanha (COPE) said that the situation at the military headquarters in Waterkloof was appalling. He asked if there was a plan to address this, especially since the military had established a Department of Works.

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that underfunding had affected the Department in all areas. There has been improvements in housing and accommodation.

Mr Nhanha commented that civilians servicing the army had created tensions. This had emerged in interactions with army personnel at Waterkloof. He asked what the army and the Department had done to move closer to each other.

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that the Minister has attempted to address this issue through restructuring. Although this matter was outside the Annual Performance Plan of the Defence Force, he was sure the Minister would agree to a presentation if a request were made for this.

With regard to the National Youth Service (NYS), Mr Nhanha asked if there was a plan to ensure the expansion in the army as the plan was currently to train 2 000 youth and this was insufficient, “a drop in the ocean”. What was the programme and intended goals of the army. He noted comments about the intake including “over-aged” and “over-weight” people. Did they think it was worth doing this?

Dr Gulube replied that the number of youth had been cut from 10 000 to 2000 because money had not been received from the National Treasury to allow for greater numbers. Even though these numbers were low, the Department would continue to try to make an impact. Some of these youths were working on projects in the Defence Force Kwa-Zulu Natal as community health workers.

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that the initial target was larger than what was possible with the funding. The National Treasury has also cut funding for the National Youth Service.

Mr Nhanha asked if the 10 500 hours allocated to pilots for flying was sufficient.

Mr Wiseman Mbambo, Director: Air Capability Plans: South African Air Force, said that 29 000 flying hours had been allocated for the current financial year. This had raised concerns as Air Traffic controllers had less experience and pilots hours had to be adjusted accordingly. The Department was looking at ways to ensure that people were used in different ways.

Ms Daniels asked for clarity about what informed the prioritisation of items in the Annual Performance Plan. This was in the light of footnote on page 11 about partially funded and non-funded items.

Dr Gulube said the priorities of the Department were informed by the government. It had a Medium Term Strategic Framework, Cabinet Programmes and Contingency Budgets.

Ms Daniels asked if there was a balance between armament and human capital and if it was working to the advantage of the country.

Mr Eduard Drost, Director South African Airway Strategy: South African Army, replied that a balance had to be struck between personnel and equipment. Funding was a requirement including a larger budget. The first priority was personnel. One of the fundamental principles of army strategy was about human capital.

Ms Daniels asked if the item mentioned on Page 14 as Activity 3: ‘Ensure Material to satisfy the requirements of the SANDF’, had already been done or was there a plan to approve this output.

Mr E Mlambo (ANC) asked how many ships were deployed in the east Coast of Africa.

Rear Admiral Green said that there was naval vessel on the east coast.

Mr Mlambo asked if there was a joint patrol in countries on the east coast of Africa.

Rear Admiral Green said there were no joint patrols but South Africa received assistance from other countries on the east coast in terms of maritime awareness.

Mr Mlambo asked how far the Department had gone in occupying the borders.

Mr Mlambo asked if the South African Police had withdrawn completely from the borders.

Rear Admiral Green replied that this issue was ongoing and would take a while to be fully sorted out.

Mr S Esau (DA) asked why the Annual Performance Plan (APP) had not been forwarded to the Committee when it was tabled in March.

Dr Gulube said that the APP had been submitted in March and the Department was guided by the requirements for submissions.

Mr Esau said the Department APP was an ideal with the outcomes based approach but one had serious budget constraints as only three borders were covered. Land defence expansion was critical, the Defence Review was good but the number of priorities discussed in the documents were not realistic – as there was no political will to budget around the priorities. If it was a serious issue that one had to protect the borders and be proactive, it was a serious concern that the documents were not realistic and the priorities could not be achieved by the army.

The differences in the statistics were not a satisfactory situation. A number of issues had impacted on the morale. How was this dealt with and what had been done about the backlogs in accommodation? This was not a satisfactory situation for the Committee. The Defence Review had serious financial implications. No targets had been set to deal with targets for military veterans. A further concern was how to budget for contingencies.

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that there was a channelling of the input provision of the budget with a host of priorities, but the most important priorities had to be focussed on. There was general agreement that the budget was insufficient. There was a backlog in accommodation. The morale of the Department had not been serious affected by all these setbacks.

Lt Gen Ramlakam said sixty copies of the Annual Performance Plan had been submitted in March.

Mr Maynier asked if it was in the professional opinion of the Defence Force that disclosing the percentage compliance with the joint employment requirements, the percentage compliance with approved force design, and the percentage compliance with approved force structure, would compromise national security and if so, why?

Lt Gen Ramlakam replied that the Department took its lead from the law and political guidance.

Meeting was adjourned.

Appendix: SANDF Delegation List


Job Title


Dr Sam Gulube

Secretary for Defence


Pragasen Ramsing

Acting Director, Strategy & Plannning


Jabulani Msimang

Director Military Health Planning


Sagaren Pillay

Director Maritime Plans

SA Navy

Wiseman Mbambo

Director Air Capability Plans

SA Air Force

Edward Drost

Director SA Army Strategy

SA Army

Brig Gen Simon Qhesi

Director Planning

DOD Joint Ops

Brig Gen Willie Letseleba

Director Inspection / Auditing

Defence Inspectorate Division

Maj Gen M.M. Moadira

Deputy Chief of Logistics


T. Ratsomo

Chief Director Strategic Support


Col M.S. Mosiane

SSO HR Risk Management


R Adm Alan Green

Chief Director Military Strategy & Plan


Lt Gen Vejaynand Ramlakam

Surgeon General




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