The Secretary for Defence discussed the Strategic Overview and the Financial Allocations of the Defence Programme for the year 2013/14. He provided the Department of Defence (DOD) Core Performance Information, the Medium Term Budget Plan, Ministry of Defence priorities and Strategic Focus Areas. He highlighted his concern that in many areas the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would not be able to fulfill its mandate fully as a result of two budget cuts that the National Treasury had implemented. He appealed to Members to assist the DOD in getting further funding so that urgent priorities such as border safeguarding, maritime patrols and airforce flying hours could be maintained. Members were unhappy that the basis of the budget and the allocations had been planned according to the 1998 Defence Review. Both the ANC and DA expressed their frustration that the Defence Review had not been completed timeously by the DOD. Members asked that the Defence Review and Force Design be completed before the end of June at the latest.
The DA asked about the report on events in the Central African Republic (CAR) and was most unhappy that the DOD had done only an internal review of the CAR battle. It had expected a more dramatic response to the events. The DA ask whether, under the present circumstances, the SANDF was able to execute its mission to deploy in the DRC give the state of cutbacks the SANDF was forced to make. Members were extremely worried that currently border safeguarding was only functioning with 11 companies as the estimated minimum requirement was 21 companies. The Secretary for Defence explained that as a result of financial cutbacks the borders between South Africa and Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho were now unmanned without any patrols. The coastline was also largely unprotected because the Navy’s budget was to small to fulfill its mandate.
Members demanded that the Defence Review be completed as soon as possible together with the Force Design so that National Treasury could provide the necessary funding. Members also raised the issue of the ‘Guptagate’ report but the Chairperson was only willing to allow the question of when it would be ready for consumption. The DA stated that the DOD had not put across its argument for more funding persuasively enough and asked it to prepare a five-page document summarizing the critical effects of the cutback on each branch of the service. Members raised concerns about the retrenchment of soldiers in the SANDF, the complaints by airforce personnel that they had been charged for raising grievances during a parliamentary oversight visit. Other comments included the fact that the briefing made no mention of the Defence Acquisition Process and those projects. The classification and restriction on meetings concerning the arms procurement projects was also raised as being unconstitutional. Members discussed the image of South Africa after its foray into CAR and questioned the President’s letters that were not arriving timeously for the notification of peacekeeping missions outside South Africa. The personnel and technical cutbacks were discussed and Members questioned the government’s commitment to Defence, noting that South Africa spent only 1% of its GDP on Defence. Points were raised on the poor state of accommodation at military bases and why there was a rollover of R153 million for the Denel (AMG) contract termination retrenchment cost. Members wanted clarity on the empowerment of Military Veterans. Several Members were concerned that the audit report was sketchy and needed proper details and that the enhancement of Landward Defence had being promised year after year but this had not yet being implemented.
The Chairperson welcomed the delegation who introduced themselves. The Chairperson said that he expected the briefing to state its objectives and comply fully with present legislation and Treasury recommendations, the Millennium Goals and the National Development Plan (NDP).
Mr D Maynier (DA) lodged two objections with the Chairperson, saying the meeting programme could not deal with a R40 billion budget in only three hours and secondly the high cost of the venue, the Mount Nelson Hotel, which was not provided for in the Defence budget. The objections were duly noted by the Chairperson. He said that Members were concerned that the DOD work was not done and they insisted that National Treasury could not be blamed for the state of affairs.
Department of Defence and Military Veterans (Defence Secretariat and South African National Defence Force) Annual Performance Plans 2013
Dr Sam Gulube, Secretary for Defence, thanked the Chairperson and committee members and stated that they were present to make a full disclosure for the budget vote. He would highlight the strengths and weaknesses and would limit his presentation to 30 minutes to provide time for Member’s questions and answers.
Dr Gulube then briefly discussed the scope of the Annual Performance Plan for 2013. This included four parts: a Strategic Overview, the Financial Allocations of the Defence Programme for 2013/14 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Budget Summary, Department of Defence Core Performance Information and the Department of Defence 2013/14 MTEF Budget Plan.
Dr Gulube said that the vision of the Department of Defence was the effective defence for a democratic South Africa. The mission of the DOD was to provide, manage, prepare and employ defence capabilities commensurate with the needs of South Africa as regulated by the Constitution, national legislation and the Parliamentary and Executive direction. This would be provided through the proper management, provision, preparedness and employment of defence capabilities, which were in line with the domestic and global needs of South Africa. He noted the Legislative requirements for the development of the Annual Performance Plan. These included Public Service Regulations, National Treasury Regulations, National Treasury Framework for the APP and the National Treasury Framework for programme performance information. He noted that all performance agreements and assessments were to be completed by the end of May 2013.
He covered the DOD macro organisational structure as seen in page 12 of the briefing, which explains that level 2 reports to the Defence Secretariat on level one who in turn reports to the Minister of Defence. The DOD central staff and the SA National Defence Force report to the Defence Secretariat. Dr Gulube then discussed the eight priorities of the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans for 2103/14. These were:
1. Enhancement of the (SANDF) Landward Defence Capabilities
The Landward Defence Capability had not enjoyed the advantage of being part of the strategic defence package and therefore was in need of modernisation. This process had to take into account the financial expenditure ability of the SA Army and the overall procurement systems and capabilities of the DOD and ARMSCOR.
2. Maritime Security
This had been developed and was currently in the process of being integrated within the broader SADC maritime security strategies. The SANDF would continue to execute counter piracy operations in support of the Mozambique Defence Force.
3. Force Rejuvenation (Job Creation)
DOD would endeavour to create job opportunities within the defence industry in accordance with approved DOD projects.
4. Enhancement of the SANDF Peacekeeping Capability
The role of the SANDF in promoting peace and security in the region and on the African continent under the auspices of the UN and African Union necessitated the enhancement of the SANDF’s role in peacekeeping as well as its Forward Deployment Capability.
5. National Youth Service
The execution of the NYS programme would continue during the 2013/14 medium term expenditure framework. It was envisaged that the NYS policy framework would lead to its implementation.
6. Revitalisation of the Reserves
The reserves would continue to be transformed and revitalised to fulfill their primary role of providing a large component of the conventional landward capability of the SANDF whilst at the same time supplementing peace support missions conducted by regular troops.
7. Restructuring and Support of the Defence Industry
The restructuring of the Defence Industry would focus on the current and future defence capability requirements in support of the Defence mandate. The work of the Defence Industry Council would require strengthening.
8. Department of Defence Works Capability
The DOD had steadily progressed with the establishment of the Defence Works Formation which was currently functional and executing identified renovation projects for facilities occupied by the DOD in close cooperation with the Department of Public Works (DPW). A plan had been developed to establish a Joint Interim Operations Centre to manage the migration of functions and responsibilities of facilities management and maintenance from the DPW to the DOD during a period agreed upon.
Dr Gulube identified nine strategic focus areas of the Ministry of Defence and explained their importance:
1. Military Skills Development System
This would continue to be a means for a force rejuvenation as a component of the Human Resources Renewal Strategy.
2. The Defence Review
The Defence Review was reaching its final stage and the planning for the short and medium term was to be undertaken in keeping with considerations for the future implications for defence as contained in the current draft of the Defence Review.
3. Transformation within the SANDF
The representation of men and women in command structures of the SANDF would remain a key focus area.
4. DOD Grievance Procedure
The DOD grievance procedure must be fully functional and effective in protecting members of the department from abuse.
5. Reconfiguration of the Force Number Allocation
To ensure that force numbers did not necessarily demonstrate the member’s time of joining the DOD, the department would revisit the structuring of force number allocation.
6. Maintenance and Enforcement of Discipline
All Chiefs of Services, Divisions and Unit Commanders were responsible for discipline. There would be a zero tolerance on all forms of ill-discipline, including the abuse of power by commanders.
7. DOD Audit Findings
Dr Gulube noted that the DOD was working towards a clean audit and the removal of all red flags that the Auditor-General had identified. He highlighted the formation of the operational management centre set up to manage all assets. The DOD had worked on strengthening internal controls in the previous financial year in order to eliminate current and future audit qualifications. Operation Clean Audit had served as a mechanism to strengthen the DOD internal controls. In 2013/14 human resources, IT, procurement and accounting would be strengthened to avoid possible audit findings.
8. DOD Planning Instruments
Departmental planning would continue to be aligned with government’s outcome oriented strategic planning, budgeting, risk management and monitoring and evaluation processes.
9. Corruption and Fraud
The DOD continued to adopt a zero tolerance attitude to all forms of corruption and fraud within the department. Internal measures were being strengthened to combat fraud.
Dr Gulube noted that the DOD aimed to achieve an unqualified audit for 2013/14 and that they needed to be more aggressive in tackling corruption in the DOD.
Financial Allocations of Defence Programme for 2013/14 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)
Dr Gulube said the total allocated for 2103/14 was R40.24 billion and this increased to R45 billion for 2015/16. The lion’s share of R13.85 billion in the 2013/14 budget was allocated to Landward Defence with Air Defence following it.
Dr Gulube identified seven criteria which informed DOD National Expenditure on an annual basis:
- level 0/1 core indicator
- linked to the legislative / policy mandate
- linked to output deliverables - linked to major funding initiatives
- have trendable information
- linked to the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MSTF) Outcomes
- linked to the National Development Plan (NDP)
He gave 10 performance indicators and targets for 2013/14 which included –
- 100% compliance with the SADC standby force agreement
- 40 defence attaché offices
- ordered commitment to 4 external operations
- ordered commitment to 5 internal operations
- 8 joint interdepartmental and military exercises per year
- 6 673 members in skills development per year
- 12 900 reserves used per year
- 10 500 force employment hours flown per year for air defence
- 11 companies deployed on border safeguarding.
Dr Gulube noted that they would be under resourced on Human Resources by 2020 as a result of the financial budgetary cuts. A further high risk was the number of air force employment hours flown per year would drop from 12 754 to 6300 in 2015/16 and this would significantly affect the level of Air Defence. In terms of the number of companies deployed to safeguard borders, the estimated figure of 19 companies would be reached only by 2015/16. He stated that assistance was required from National Treasury as the current 11 companies were insufficient and not enough manpower would be available to train up.
Department of Defence Core Performance Information
Dr Gulube briefly discussed the DOD Performance Information and explained that it continued to mature over the short and medium term. The areas it covered included –
1. Integrated Strategic Management Enabler.
A detailed performance report based on the actual DOD Performance Information to ensure auditability and uniformity.
2. Performance Information Design.
The development of core DOD Performance Indicators and associated technical data.
The DOD Performance Indicator Plan was a three year strategy which was likened to budget allocation/ expenditure. The Performance Information was presented as on page 35 – 44 of the document.
Department of Defence 2013/14 MTEF Budget Plan
Dr Gulube turmed to the 2012/13 financial performance which amounted to R 37.88 billion. This was 99.51% of the budgeted amount expended. An under expenditure of R 4.943 million occurred within the Department of Military Veterans. An under expenditure of R17.347 on additional funds in the Peace Support Operations environment was incurred. Under the allocation of General Support there was a rollover claim of R153 million for the Denel (AMG) contract termination retrenchment cost.
Dr Gulube briefed the Members on the R 50 million budgetary cutbacks for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework Cycle, see table (Baseline Reductions) page 48. The budgetary cuts would escalate to an amount of R350 million in the MTEF Cycle of 2015/16 creating challenges for the DOD. The financial requirements were based on the 1998 Defence Review and as a result the National Treasury was unwilling to increase the budgetary allocations until the new Defence Review was completed by the DOD.
Dr Gulube referred to a letter in the briefing: Budget Cut as per November 2012 Allocation Letter. In terms of the budget cuts the DOD was allocated R 20.86 million towards the compensation of employees in 2013/14. The DOD was required to manage the number of employees within the allocations provided for and this amount was not to be exceeded. Administrative posts were to be curtailed and excess personnel were to be eliminated in all areas. A further budget cut in February 2013 was approved by Cabinet in which spending was to be reduced by R14.8 billion over the 2013 MTEF and the DOD’s 2013 MTEF was revised to accommodate further reductions of R250 million in 2013/14.
Dr Gulube noted the most important implications of the budget reductions for the DOD were:
- it would impact on performance targets
- numerous in-year reallocations within programmes and sub-programmes
- performance agreements of the Minister, Secretary for Defence and SANDF Chief were compromised.
The allocation per main programme for 2013/14 was broken down per category with the total amount being R 37.88 billion (see page 55 of document).
Dr Gulube noted that the DOD faced serious challenges as a result of the budgetary cutbacks approved by Cabinet. He highlighted the areas affected by rising fuel costs:
- a negative impact on executing borderline control
- a negative impact on training in the three services: Army, Airforce and Navy as well as supporting divisions.
- a negative impact on operating budget due to envisaged price increases of commodities used by the Defence Force.
He confirmed that the 2013/14 estimates of defence expenditure was aligned with the Department’s Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan but was not fully funded. The budget reductions would have the following consequences for certain programmes of the SANDF –
- Programme 2: Force Employment.
86% of the reduction could only be applied to maintenance and repair of prime mission equipment resulting in reduced serviceability of peace support equipment and a resultant decrease in UN reimbursement.
- Programme 3: Landward Defence
A further decline in number of serviceable vehicles and equipment would negatively impact on training and readiness levels which would affect SA peace support and border safeguarding operations.
- Programme 4: Air Defence
Air Defence was dependent on outside contractors to adequately maintain and repair its current fleet of aircraft. Without this and proper maintenance of airfields, radar and communications and approach and landing systems, this would result in unsafe South African airspace.
- Programme 6: Military Health Support
The reduced allocation impacted on the warehousing of pharmaceuticals, the maintenance and repair of medical equipment and asset management which would seriously disrupt health services provided to soldiers and dependents.
Programme 8: Joint Support
- Joint Logistic Services: The reduced allocation would negatively impact on asset management due to reduced ability to comply with the asset management accounting framework.
- Command and Management Information: The maintenance and repair of communication equipment, communication security equipment, electronic counter measure equipment and radar equipment was placed at risk and would impact negatively on the execution of operations.
Ms P Daniels (ANC) thanked the Secretary for Defence for his presentation and noted that the DOD’s Performance Information Plan was brilliant but wanted to know how it impacted on everyone. She noted that finally the Department understood there was corruption and fraud in the DOD and they were beginning to deal with it. In her understanding of the Constitution and mandate, she saw no reference to the National Security Structure and the role the DOD played in this. In terms of the Annual Performance Plan, she asked what the training content was of the Military Skills Development System. She asked when would the Defence Review be completed and the review of the Force Structure. Ms Daniels noted that there was evidence of abuse of the use of the grievance procedure as some members of the airforce were being charged at certain air force bases after a parliamentary oversight visit at these bases. She asked how the Defence Secretary intended implementing cutbacks on permanent members and what type of exit mechanisms were put in place. She asked about the rollover claim of R 153 million to Denel (AMG) for contract termination retrenchment costs. What was the amount for AMG and was it a running monthly cost and could she have more details about this amount? She asked about the Gupta saga that had unfolded and what the role of the SANDF Chief was.
Mr Motimele indicated that the other matters would be discussed later and requested the Member to stick to the Annual Performance Plan and Budget.
Mr D Maynier (DA) thanked the Chairperson and noted that the Government had called a special task team to investigate Guptagate. In terms of the Central African Republic, there was an investigation into events leading up to it and asked when this report would be made. He noted the SANDF was being deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under a new mandate and they must ensure they had sufficient capacity. He questioned whether the SANDF had the capacity to be deployed and execute their mission to the DRC in light of the budgetary cuts initiated. He noted that the force deployment was significantly reduced as a result of budgetary cutbacks. He asked the Secretary to provide a breakdown of how the budget cuts would affect the individual programmes of the DOD. Mr Maynier stated that the Defence Review was not successful and he asked the Secretary to spell out the process of the Defence Review and the Force Design to the Committee. He was concerned that Parliament was being excluded from the process and Parliament must approve the Defence Review. Mr Maynier raised the issue of Defence Acquisition and noted there was no mention of any projects or budgets concerning procurement in the Annual Performance Plan. He asked who were the key people for the 2014/15 budget process. He also asked if a report would be completed by Friday 10 May on the Guptagate scandal and would it be made public.
Mr L Diale (ANC) complimented the Department on a good job and encouraged them. He noted that the Members had being struggling to get the new Defence Review completed since the last Defence Review was conducted in 1998, making it 15 years old. National Treasury could not be expected to act differently and in view of this, the Defence Review should be speeded up urgently. He noted that these incidents were going to damage the government’s image and that nothing must be done to violate our Constitution. South Africa wanted to improve its image but if the SANDF did not have adequate capacity than the Committee needed to know. He asked how the DOD had integrated their plans with the National Development Plan which was government policy.
Ms Mgabadeli (ANC) thanked the Secretary and noted the DOD was too gentle concerning its budgetary reductions. She asked for the buget process to be unpacked and wanted to know how the empowerment of military veterans on the ground was being addressed. She asked for a breakdown of costs on this.
Mr M Nhanha (COPE) was concerned that Treasury was cutting back on the budget allocation and this meant that the SANDF must reduce the resources being deployed on the borders. He noted that there were no reports on border management.
Mr S Esau (DA) said that it did not make sense to delay the Defence Review since all the budgets were based on this and it showed that there was no commitment from our government to Defence. He asked why the increase in reserves was double and that the reductions and increases did not synchronise. He noted that a gloomy picture was being painted and it did not bode well for South Africa. The impact of cutbacks on Defence was bad. He asked why there was a radical contradiction between the money allocated and the manpower in the budget. It was impossible to employ 19 companies for border safeguarding. The implications of the rollover claim of R153 million for the (AMG) contract termination retrenchment cost was not clear. He asked what were DOD contingency plans to ensure all SAAF aircraft were efficiently serviced. He asked how they were handling the soldiers who were being retrenched and those increasing their skills. Mr Esau asked if a cost benefit analysis had being done on the benefits of in house maintenance versus the Department of Public Works. He noted that the audit report was extremely sketchy and was not convinced all audited findings had been addressed. There were too many consultants being used and asset management systems needed to be put in place and executed. Research and Development capabilities were based and implemented on the old 1998 Defence Review and should be based on the current Defence Review. He asked for clarity on how the DOD could plan on a Defence Review that was not in place. He noted that with a budget of 0.85 % it was impossible to meet the challenges. Treasury was not able to provide more money if the current Defence Review was not completed and Treasury was justified in its actions.
Mr Esau was concerned about the deployment of South African soldiers externally. He noted that the President’s letter to Parliament had not being authorised timeously and that the Joint Standing Committee on Defence had not authorised this. He asked for clarity in the Annual Performance Plan (APP) which referred to a 75% to 80% reimbursement, asking if the African Union or UN was reimbursing South Africa. He noted it was important that clarity was requested on these costs before an operation was considered.
Mr Diale (ANC) said the Committee had found the condition of military accommodation terrible and unsuitable and this had not been mentioned in the APP. He insisted that the Budget vote be dealt with firstly. Any questions on the CAR and DRC must be dealt with as a separate issue.
Mr Motimele agreed and stated that he would not allow points on the Gupta incident to be raised now.
Mr Maynier (DA) assumed that the ruling did not exclude the budget allocation for the CAR intervention.
Dr Gulube stated that he would be assisted by his team in answering the Members’ questions which he welcomed. The DOD had an anti-corruption plan headed by the Inspector General of the SANDF. Dr Gamede, DOD Deputy Director General: Chief Defence Policy and Strategy Planning, would answer all questions on the Defence Review process. Lieutenant General Ramlakan, Chief of SANDF Corporate Staff, would answer questions relating to Force Design and General Masters on grievances of men and women in the Airforce after the parliamentary oversight visit to their bases.
Dr Gulube responded to military skills development, saying that this issue was not one of job creation but rather it was meant to train people to be used by the DOD to allow those skills to be incorporated into the Defence Force or reserve force as a rejuvenation of the Defence Force. We have a major role, that is, Public Works formulated this migration of Public Works into the DOD and the process would be a meeting with PWD to establish a task team for migration as of 2013/14. The report of the Directors General Committee on the Gupta incident was expected in seven working days, which would be next week Wednesday. “We were here to serve and we could provide a report on the (AMG) Denel rollover claim which we would present to the committee, all we require from the Committee were guidelines”. In terms of the Acquisition and Procurement Programme, guidelines would also be needed from the Committee, as ARMSCOR would need to present their 2013/14 acquisition projects. Detail about the rollover of R153 million for Denel could be provided. Dr Gulube said that he needed to advise the Committee that the presentation was not for public consumption. Only the Auditor-General could send people to audit the procurement function. The SANDF had the capacity to execute and deliver on the mission to the DRC. He did not have the answer concerning Human Resource issues about staff reductions. All he could state was that there was an attrition process in place whereby those people that die would not be replaced. On the issue of military exit, all policy decisions made were from the integration period and this could not be resurrected. In terms of the National Security Structure (Justice, Security and Crime Prevention - JCSP), the Department of Defence was not the lead department in formulation of national security. The State Security Agency was the lead Department and DOD would support it. They did not see a board of inquiry as necessary on the battle of Bangui but the DOD held an internal review of it and it was presented to the Directors General.
In terms of the consequences of the budget cutbacks for the Arms of Service, one should not blame National Treasury “as we have not done a Defence Review”. DOD would present our Defence Force requirements on completion of the Defence Review and the mandate be what we can and cannot do. In terms of integration with the NDP we were obligated by our mandate to defend our territorial integrity and a prerequisite for this was peace and stability for South Africa. The groundwork had been done on the impact of this but the DOD must publicise their work more.
Regarding the empowerment issue, the Department of Military Veterans would address this. The DOD had done an analysis of the border management situation and it regarded a minimum of 21 companies were necessary to protect our borders. Last financial year it was 11 companies, now 13 for this year. Due to the budget cutbacks there would be no SANDF presence on the borders between South Africa and its neighbours in Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho. We must align performance with the budget and we have asked for a review of the numbers of the reserve force. To deal specifically with the audit findings, we would have a full presentation for the Committee and we would invite the Auditor-General to see if the Department had made progress since the last quarter in which we had one red flag. The biggest challenge was the major asset management that needed to be done. Poor accommodation of soldiers was a matter to take up with the Public Works Department.
Dr Thobekile Gamede, DOD Deputy Director General: Chief Defence Policy and Strategy Planning, stated that the report on the DRC had been discussed at Director General level and was now at Cabinet level and from there it would be sent to Parliament.
Mr Siphiwe Sokhela, DOD Chief Financial Officer, stated that the department fully complied with the Public Fiance Management Act (PMFA). He noted that to ensure the findings were right, the Department did a full verification exercise. Asset management was the responsibility of everyone. The Department asked every office to compile an inventory list of assets that was placed on the door of each and every office. All the supporting documents of assets sold or received was included in the financial year. In terms of maintenance, they needed R 5 million. The Department had different committees to monitor progress, this was referred to as the dashboard. The Department also engaged in weekly meetings with the Auditor-General so no surprises were foreseen.
Lieutenant General Vejay Ramlakan, Chief of SANDF Corporate Staff, discussed the Force Design structure. He noted that the Defence Review was in its final stages with the Chief of Staff and, once completed, it would be presented.
Dr Gulube noted that the team working on the lessons experienced in the CAR had prepared to prevent this from happening again. The consequences of the military budget cuts on joint operations was a reduction of the reserve force utilisation. The reserve forces were being deployed on the borders. Landward defence could only maintain 220 vehicles which had major implications for training soldiers. In terms of the airforce, cutbacks affected containment baselines, combat systems, transport systems, command and control and communications. The SA Navy was affected critically in terms of personnel, staffing and engineering capabilities. The SA Health Services would be affected by a loss of physicians and renewal of clinical equipment which would be cut by 50%. On those airforce members who were charged for laying out their grievances, they were unable to respond because the DOD had a grievance procedure which allowed for grievances to go to headquarters and then they were escalated to the DOD. The ombudsman allowed the members to file grievances but the members had to use the DOD grievance system first. The grievance procedure was a confidence booster and there was concern about these incidents. The DOD had a structured grievance procedure, and if a member was not happy they could go to the Grievance Board.
Mr D Maynier noted that it would be unconstitutional to hold a closed meeting on Defence Acquisition and Budgets and asked that the Chairperson review this.
Mr E Mlambo (ANC) replied that Mr Maynier’s experience in United States was not relevant here.
Mr Maynier noted that the Secretary for Defence had refused to reveal any information on Defence Acquisition and one could not categorise Defence Acquisition as being the same as Defence Intelligence.
Mr N Booi (ANC) stated that the Chairperson’s decision must be respected and he disagreed with Mr Maynier who he claimed was undermining the Chairperson.
Mr Maziya (ANC) responded that in confidential matters the Department could ask the Portfolio Committee to have a closed meeting and ask the Speaker to rule on a closed meeting. The Department could apply to have it submitted to the Joint Standing Committee on Defence. The Department must list the items and provide the Chairperson with it so he could refer the matter to the Joint Standing Committee.
Mr N Booi (ANC) stated that he was dissatisfied with the answer on the Defence Review and he saw no sense of urgency. Treasury would not respond until the Review and policy was done. He accused the Secretary of not addressing the problem.
Mr Esau (DA) asked why the officials were not at the final stages of the Defence Review yet. He wanted to know when the bodies reported to the Minister and what the status was. He claimed that they were not receiving the reports. The Department must relook at their performance indicators and clarify what process was followed as the Committee performed the oversight. He noted that the Border safeguards were stretched and “we had not used our technology to ensure that we have border control”.
Mr L Diale (ANC) replied that he knew of people who were complaining and phoning about their complaints. He asked that the Office of the Chairperson compile a list of complaints and submit these to the DOD at Level 1.
Mr Maynier (DA) was surprised the Department had only done an internal review on the CAR issue. He believed that it required a more dramatic response than an internal review. He said the Defence Review was critical and if it did not succeed, we would fail. He wanted to know by what date the Defence Review and Force Design would be submitted. The Defence Budget and Operations had being stripped to the bone and he was surprised it could not state its case better. He asked the Department to present a document giving the effects of the cutbacks on each Arm of Service.
Ms Daniels (ANC) asked for a full presentation of the revitalisation and rejuvenation within the SANDF and asked what about the other Arms of Service besides Landward. She complained that they kept hearing the same line of rubbish that the Landward Defence was going to be capacitated and dealt with. She noted that this country had a coat of arms but you saw members of the SANDF in public wearing half the coat of arms. She asked why the Secretary had nothing in his budget about military veterans. She asked what was the percentage that the African continent spent on their Defence budgets. She noted that South Africa’s Defence Budget was around 1,3% of GDP. She wanted to know what we needed in order to fulfill our mandate.
Mr Motimele responded that he was unsure what the budget cuts and border deployment were but the Committee must take a stance.
Mr Maynier (DA) noted that the consequences of the Defence cuts were repairs and expansions were being deferred. The Minister and Chief of Staff needed to ask Parliament what it intended to do.
Mr Maziya (ANC) agreed with Mr Maynier that the Defence Budget debate was close and by that time the Government must give answers. He noted that border posts took a lot of money to maintain and Defence had taken them over from SAPS without arranging more funding. The Defence Review must be done as soon as possible, then the better it would speak to funding the Defence Force. Auditing compliance in the Defence Force was more difficult due to the fact that assets were moving from country to country.
Mr Maynier requested that the Secretary for Defence prepare a procedural advice within a week and they would get the DA vote.
Mr Booi (ANC) noted that the Department had done it before and he urged that the review be done. Unless it was done, they would not get any more money from Treasury. The impression was that the DOD did not want to do its own work here and they needed to fast track the process. If the Department failed to do it, then it would be postponed for another five years.
The Chairperson reiterated that the Members took this issue very seriously.
Mr M Mncwango (IFP) said he knew the Defence Review had long been on the agenda but they needed a date from the DOD. South Africa’s military forces were involved in military missions abroad and he asked if there was policy coordination with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). DIRCO was making decisions at policy level without the DOD knowing about it. He asked about the percentage of women in command in senior structures.
Mr Maynier (DA) repeated that the data presented by the DOD was not persuasive enough and what was needed was an example of what equipment was going to be put into storage. He asked by what date they could expect the Defence Review as it was critical that it be ready before June.
Ms Mgabedeli (ANC) noted that the Department of Military Veterans would present next week.
Dr Gulube agreed that they needed to provide a five-page report on the effects of the Budget constraints within 10 days. He said the Defence Review was in the Cabinet Committee and by the end of May it would be done. The review of the Force Design would be ready by end of June.
He believed that the battle of Bangui was a success and an enormous amount of interest had been generated. The South Africans had lost 13 or 14 whilst the rebels had lost 600 people. He stated that border safeguards like fences were being used and they were engaging all stakeholders in border management. He noted that surveillance and research and design would be set up - what came out of this was amazing. Regarding Landward Defence enhancement, Denel was building combat vehicles for the army to be delivered in 2013/14. He noted that Denel must have the capacity in fulfilling the DOD budgets. The DOD and Department of International Relations had ongoing cooperation. With regard to female representation, it must be 30% and the Department was working to a 30/70 representation. The Department was currently running at 20 to 25% female representation.
The percentage spent on Defence as per GDP should be 3% for a country like South Africa. The amount now was currently 1.1% of GDP. He concluded by saying he had taken note of the performance indicators. He also mentioned that he had to sign off on classification of expenditure in South Africa and the system was working very well.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
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