DOD & CCB 2021/22 APPs; Feedback on BRRRs; with Minister

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Defence and Military Veterans

05 May 2021
Chairperson: Mr C Xaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Annual Performance Plans

ATC201202: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on the 2019/20 Annual Report of the Department of Defence (Dod), Dated 2 December 2020 
ATC201202: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on the 2019/20 Annual Report of Armscor and the Castle Control Board (Ccb), Dated 2 December 2020

The Committee was told that the outbreak during 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic had demonstrated the importance of the Department of Defence (DOD) in the fight to combat the disease, by enabling the enforcement of the national state of disaster in support of the country and its people. It was evident that South Africa did not need a conventional war to attract the required level of funding and capacitation of the Defence Force, but even during peacetime, it needed to ensure its readiness at all times to execute its mandate and render support when directed to do so by the government.

Presenting its annual performance plan in a virtual meeting, the DOD also highlighted that it was important to optimise its personnel utilisation through a balance between regulars, reserves and civilians, and to ensure military discipline through expedited legal action that enabled effective consequence management. It had to maintain the current operational capability within its current operational strength to ensure the continual rejuvenation of the human resource component.

The Minister raised concern over some questions which were being asked, and highlighted that they involved operational matters and would require a closed door meeting which Committee Members could request through the Chairperson of the Committee. She briefed the Committee on the Mozambique situation, and said that more could be shared with the Committee in due course, but gave an assurance that the protection and safeguarding of South African citizens was of the highest importance.

The Committee raised concern over the budget cuts at the DOD, and said realistic targets needed to be set, taking into account their financial situation. Another matter was the sustainability of Denel to continue with its projects, as a lot of money had been invested and it was important that feedback be provided. The flying hours of the Air Force was also a topic of concern, considering the budget cuts and how this had a negative impact on the DOD's operations. Members wanted to know how the DOD would reduce the compensation of employees' budget deficit, as they knew that this could not be achieved in less than two financial years, but the end goal was important.

The presentation by the Castle Control Board, responsible for Castle of Cape Town, was well received by the Committee. The Board said it had put all personnel movements on hold until they had successfully dealt with its funding challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic had affected the previous financial year, when cash-flow was curtailed, but it had since radically improved. The Committee urged the CCB to address the audit challenges that had been pointed out by the Auditor-General.

Meeting report

DOD Annual Performance Plan for 2021

Ms Gladys Kudjoe, Secretary for Defence, Department of Defence (DOD), said the DOD was presenting a review of the defence function within the context of changes to the security environment, both domestically and abroad, while articulating the updated national policy on defence, and informing the Committee on departmental policies, strategies and plans.

The review provided three strategic defence policy options for aligning the defence function towards future relevance in a complex and ever changing world. In the light of the fiscal constraints facing South Africa, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would continue, as far as resources allowed, to pursue a re-balance of the suite of military capabilities towards a future force that had a wide range of utility. The re-balancing was intended to ensure the future relevance of a Defence Force which would be able to sustainably execute selected priority missions, perform its mandated core functions, and provide value to South Africa as a developmental state.

Referring to the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR), the DOD team told the Committee that the operating/running costs of the new vessels would be offset through the phased decommissioning and placement in reserve of the current obsolete platforms.

The DOD took into consideration the tasks and commitments arising from the national security architecture and the requirement to support government interventions domestically, regionally and on the African continent. The requirement placed upon the DOD was to respond appropriately to emerging crises when called upon to do so, and conducting on-going resourced ordered commitments remained paramount.

It recognised that the threat of international terrorism had increased over the last few years, with radical groups continuing to destabilise countries and regions of the world by means of improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings, kidnappings, bombings, destabilisation, occupation of ungoverned areas, exploitation of security vacuums and creating situations that undermined the authority of the state.

Growth in the South African economy had remained flat to negative since the 2008/2009 world economic recession, with resulting fiscal pressures. The adverse impact of COVID-19 had resulted in the decline in the country's fiscal position, placing pressure on the budget allocation to the DOD for the 2021/22 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) -- and possibly beyond. Defence funding forecast would at best remain constant, but was more likely to decline in real terms over the MTSF of this plan, preventing the implementation of the national policy on defence and the modernisation/sustainment of associated defence capabilities. The DOD budget allocation amounted to an estimated 0.95% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the 2021/22 financial year.

The outbreak during 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of the Department of Defence in the fight to combat the disease, enabling the enforcement of the national state of disaster in support of the country and its people. It was evident that the South Africa does not need a conventional war to attract the required levels of funding and capacitation of the DOD, and that even during peacetime, the country needed to invest and capacitate its Defence Force, thereby ensuring its readiness at all times to execute its mandate and render support when so directed by government.

Cyber connectivity and the concept of a global village would exacerbate the migration of skilled people critical to the economy. In addition, trans-national crime syndicates continued to exploit migration tendencies to expand illicit activities undermining sovereignty and economic growth, resulting in instability.  South Africa would remain an attractive destination for migration, straining social services and placing additional pressure on the challenged fiscus, and increasing the competition for constrained resources.

Ms Kudjoe said that the rising international trend of cyber targeting political institutions and processes remained a concern for South Africa. Cyber security must remain a national priority of the government. The DOD, in consultation with identified stakeholders, had to develop a cyber-defence capability that would enhance national cyber resilience.

The defence industry was recognised by government as a fully-fledged economic sector and, if it were adequately funded, had the potential to contribute significantly to the economy of South Africa through job creation, skills development and export earnings.  Interventions focused on ensuring the sustainability of sovereign and/or strategic industries that were at risk of implosion which may disrupt the interdependency within industry, must be deliberately planned for and executed.

The Committee heard that uneven and extreme global weather conditions may occur more often as climate change took place. Resource scarcity, population growth and climate change may increase the potential for conflict over disputed land, scarce resources and overall wellbeing of humanity. Increasingly, volatile food and energy prices may increase stresses on fragile countries. It was inevitable that the DOD would in the foreseeable future be called upon, through conducting both humanitarian and disaster operations, to assist local government authorities and other state departments both internally and in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.  The recurrent disasters in the SADC region required the DOD to have the appropriate capacity to timeously respond to such situations. Securing South Africa’s borders remained a matter of national security, requiring adequate resources supported by an appropriate border sensor capability and infrastructure.

Foreign states continued to support efforts to counter threats to African security and assist allies through the building of security forces to counter these threats and strengthen the rule of law. Military priorities linked to this strategy were countering violent extremist organisations, maritime security, countering illicit trafficking, countering migration, strengthening indigenous defence capabilities, and preparing for and responding to crises.

South Africa’s contribution to the prevention and resolution of conflict would be enhanced through an integration of its diplomatic, military and other efforts in a complementary manner, and in instances supported by appropriate military capabilities that strengthened South Africa’s capacity to influence international developments. The DOD continued to assist in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance as directed by the government. It was foreseen that the effect of COVID-19 would continue to impact on the DOD and its responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance, requiring a possible re-prioritisation of resources, dictated by government, to contain the spread and effects of the pandemic.

Human resource (HR) management and compensation of employees (CoE) would be strengthened through action plans to ensure full compliance with legislation and Treasury requirements. The DOD, through its annual transformation and equity plan, was committed to improving on the required current equity targets. In support of the national strategic plan (2020-2032) of the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, the DOD would continue to investigate and report on cases of sexual abuse, exploitation and offences within the Department where prevalent. The continued use of Reserve Force members enabled an increasing SANDF capacity to execute the required functions and operational tasks.

The DOD would continue to develop its information communication technology (ICT) systems to be aligned to the national and internal recruitment processes. It would strengthen its ICT policy and plans by institutionalising the public service governance framework by monitoring and evaluating its investment and expenditure in ICT, and ensuring that tangible and intangible assets were effectively managed. The current DOD ICT infrastructure had to be geared to accommodate the management of information over its life cycle, and must be in compliance with the regulatory framework. The establishment of the Integrated Defence Enterprise System (IDES) and the integrated financial management system were of vital importance to avoid and reduce the number of audit findings/qualifications.

Due to the prevailing fiscal environment, the DOD should not expect a growth in its budget allocation, requiring it to adjust its spending in such a manner that it would still provide the requisite services as contemplated in the DOD’s mandate within constrained resource availability. The total discontinuation of the Special Defence Account (SDA) allocation during the 2021/22 financial year would adversely impact on the capability, sustainability and modernisation of prime defence mission equipment and the defence industry.

Ms Kudjoe said the Department's focus areas included enduring strategic defence resourcing direction through the development, approval and implementation of functional DOD support strategies aligned to the approved Departmental apex strategies, informing the development of legislated Departmental accountability documents. The DOD resource support strategies and associated resourced implementation plans were to orchestrate, direct and control these cardinal defence resources, aligned with the DOD strategy’s ‘’Bill of Quantities’’, which pronounced on the approved size, shape and cost of the DOD's requirements. It was targeting a reduction in the number of audit qualifications through the development, approval and implementation of the annual DOD internal audit plan, monitored by the audit committee, coordinating and monitoring audit qualification action plans and Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) requests, reducing irregular, unauthorised and wasteful expenditure -- which was prevalent in the DOD -- and ensuring payment of invoices within 30 days.

Areas of importance included the DOD having to identify and implement resourced interventions that would “arrest the decline” in military capabilities required for operations, to identify and maintain the multi-mission capabilities required to execute the priority missions assigned to the SANDF, and to ensure continued investment in research and development capabilities and test facilities to sustain an appropriate knowledge and technology base.

In terms of human resources, it was important to optimise personnel utilisation through a balance between regulars, reserves and civilians, and ensure military discipline through expedited legal actions that enabled effective consequence management. It also had to maintain the current operational capability within the current operational strength to ensure the continual rejuvenation of the HR component.  The SANDF Reserves must augment the current force levels required to conduct military operations both internally and externally.

Ms Kudjoe concluded by saying that weaknesses in key internal controls increased the opportunity for fraud and corruption and may result in losses, including future resources. The DOD strategic plan direction, in accordance with the regulatory framework, may be compromised by the protracted development and corporate approval timeframes and maintenance of departmental policies by functional authorities, principally due to policy-writing capacity constraints. The non-compliance of the DOD with applicable legislation, the common law and prescribed policies and procedures, may result in costly litigation and losses to the Department.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Kudjoe for her presentation, and the DOD to continue with presenting the budgetary review and recommendations (BRRR) to the Committee.

 Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR)

Ms Kudjoe said the DOD had been able to deal with some of the recommendations. Denel’s financial situation and challenges with human capital, hampered the state-owned entity’s (SOE's) ability to perform on its contract with ARMSCOR. The future of Denel had not yet been decided upon by the Cabinet. The contract between Denel and ARMSCOR was not feasible for any of the three parties -- the DOD, ARMSCOR and Denel -- in its current form. The SA Army’s required capability against Project Hoefyster remained valid.

Progress had been made with Project HOTEL (a new hydrographic survey vessel for the South African Navy), through the allocated funding for the 2020/21 financial year, although the budget allocation was insufficient to sustain the project. Project BIRO (for the construction three new inshore patrol vessels for the Navy) was not sufficiently funded to honour its current contractual obligations. The Special Defence Account reserves would have to be reallocated to the project to honour its contractual obligations.

The DOD was in process of allocating earmarked funds to ARMSCOR for research and development (R&D) purposes during the 2021/22 financial year. It would in future endeavour to continue to allocate funds on an annual basis to ARMSCOR for this purpose.

During Quarter 4 of the 2020/21 financial year, 257 disciplinary cases had been received, of which 155 (60.31%) were reviewed. The Defence Legal Service Division (DLSD) did not have functional control over SANDF structures, so disciplinary cases were being concluded at the various units within the different services. The DLSD issued guidelines internally to all functional entities under command to prioritise cases involving senior officers and other serious offence cases of all ranks, instead of focusing on disciplinary cases that may also be tried by the military judges in order to remedy the current backlog situation. The HR division was currently in the process of filling all vacant posts -- Public Service Act personnel (PSAP) and Defence Act personnel (DAP) -- in order to capacitate the environment dealing with disciplinary/misconduct cases. Furthermore, there were planned empowerment programmes for members within the HR Division to be trained as Departmental representatives and chairpersons to deal with disciplinary cases.

The development, approval and promulgation of strategies were not receiving the desired attention, as higher order strategies had not been finalised to give direction to subordinate strategies. Matters related to defence strategies had now been placed as a standing item on the agenda of the Defence Planning Board for purposes of direction and the control of strategies.

For the 2021/22 financial year, the Chief of Defence Policy, Strategy and Planning, in consultation with the SANDF Chief of Staff, would initiate an engagement with the Secretary for Defence and the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, on the need for an adjusted level of ambition that would inform the development of the DOD strategy. Subordinate strategies would then be developed, following the finalisation of the DOD strategy.

The SA Air Force flying hours were being curtailed by aircraft availability. Aircraft operational capability was negatively affected by several factors, such as the availability of spares due to factors such as insufficient funding for on-demand spares, or long lead time orders. Aircraft obsolescence was another key factor affecting availability, and this was being exacerbated by the lack of funding to replace or upgrade affected aircraft.

The hydrographic survey vessel (HSV) currently under construction as part of Project HOTEL would, upon projected delivery to the SA Navy in June 2023, take over the survey function currently executed by the ageing SAS PROTEA, which was 49 years old. The SAS PROTEA would thereafter be retained for a training role only, subject to further investigation.

The three multi-mission inshore patrol vessels (MMIPVs) currently under construction in terms of Project BIRO would, upon projected delivery to the SA Navy in May 2021, September 2022 and June 2023 respectively, take over the maritime coastal patrol function currently executed by the obsolete offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) -- the SAS Isaac Dyobha and SAS Makhanda -- as well as execute other force employment tasks that may be ordered. The new vessels would be maintained by the SA Navy, in cooperation with the ARMSCOR dockyard. No major maintenance and repair of the vessels was anticipated over the respective MTEF cycles following their delivery, starting from the 2021/22 financial year. Routine maintenance and repair costs, as may be required, would be executed within the SA Navy’s operating budget allocation.

The operating/running costs of the new vessels would be off-set through the phased decommissioning and placement in reserve of current obsolete platforms. The OPV SAS Galeshewe had already been placed in reserve in October 2020. The OPV SAS Isaac Dyobha would be placed in reserve by September 2021, and the OPV SAS Makhanda by January 2023. It was projected that the SAS Protea would retain only a core crew should she be utilised as a training platform, subject to an investigation, following the commissioning of the new HSV. In addition, there would be no additional cost of employment expenditure involved, as the post structure of the new vessels were being created based on the principle of financial discounting of the posts of the vessels being placed in reserve, as well as of other obsolete vessels that had already been placed in reserve. The crews currently serving on board the obsolete vessels would continue to be retrained for utilisation on board the new vessels, as they were being placed in reserve.

Regarding the impact on the SA Navy’s achievement of its annual target of 8 000 hours at sea per year over the 2021/22 MTEF, it was planned that the new vessels would be operationally available for force preparation and force employment from their commissioning dates, and that the required operational tempo would be achieved. This was in sharp contrast to the frequent non-availability of the current obsolete vessels that would be replaced, which required extended maintenance and repair. The new vessels would therefore contribute significantly to capacitating the SA Navy to achieve its planned annual sea-hour target.


Mr S Marais (DA) said the presentations contained a lot of information and it would be fair to have more days to deliberate on them. He raised a concern over not receiving information because it was classified, arguing that the Committee did need that information to play its oversight role. He had also raised this issue with the Minister, and there was a need for a closed session to determine what must be done in terms of classified information.

He asked if the budget cuts had been done by National Treasury or by the DOD. If it was the National Treasury, how did they know what to cut? He said a lot of information was not given to the Committee in relation to the number of employees of the Department, and asked for some clarity on the budget for maintenance and operations. He was concerned that the presentation stated that there was no money, but no proper explanations were given, or whether the DOD was going to remedy the situation. He asked about the SDA reserves and wanted to know how much was available. He also questioned why they had not mentioned the issue of midlife upgrades for the three submarines, and what their plans were.

He was concerned about the fact that the 28 squadron had not been mentioned in the presentation, and that the DOD had not said anything about technological issues. He asked about the budget and why there was an increase in money being spent instead of cutting down because of the difficult financial times. Had the DOD had given thought to the reprioritisation of their projects? Nothing had been said about the issue of Mozambique, and border safety was of importance.

Mr T Mmutle (ANC) asked if the DOD would shed more light on Project BIRO and the SDA, because it was currently sitting at R1 billion. The Committee had raised concerns around the project with Denel because it was behind schedule and had cost the DOD resources, and it looked unlikely that the project would be completed soon. He wanted to know if the DOD was up to date with their plan because they should not look for funds if there was no progress on the project.

Ms A Beukes (ANC) started by acknowledging the presentations, and asked what type of capacity was being referred to by the DOD. Secondly, the high levels of non-compliance with consequence management was very concerning, and she asked the DOD to provide proof that they were dealing with these issues. She wanted to know how the DOD was planning to survive because of the budget cuts, especially on jet fuel and flying hours. Lastly, she urged the DOD to focus on the local coastlines for protection.

The Chairperson referred to the questions asked by Mr Marais, and said that the Minister had said that she would be comfortable to deal with the issues behind closed doors because of their sensitivity. She had also received a call from a Member of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), who had mentioned that the issues should be dealt with behind closed doors. Once an email was received from the Minister requesting a closed meeting, it would be sufficient to assist the Committee to motivate for the closed-door meeting.

Minister's response

Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence, started by responding to Mr Marais and said that there were meetings which had to be held behind closed doors because of their operational nature, and the DOD needed to maintain that level of confidentiality. Should Members have those questions, they could approach the Chairperson and request a closed-door meeting.

She said that jet fuel had been a problem in the DOD because of the reduction in flying hours, and there was a need to find a solution without disadvantaging the pilots. The Department had set a target of flying hours which they would stick to and compare with the Air Force so that the targets were met.

She said there were challenges along the eastern coast, and the matter of patrols on borderlines was being discussed. There had been interactions with the Department of Public Works so that borders were properly secured, using technology. There was a need to focus on the areas which needed more security, but assets had to be up to date so that patrolling and monitoring would be smooth, and the DOD had an obligation to make sure that this was done.

It was true that there had been a high amount of litigation, and some issues were because of non-compliance. The Minister gave an example of two soldiers who had been suspended and had taken the Department to court, which had resulted in the issue being difficult because the courts looked at whether the proper procedures were followed, and not at the seriousness of the offence. She also reminded Members of a case in which a soldier was charged for murder and was admitted to a rehabilitation facility. Over the years he had been appealing decisions, and the court had found in his favour, stating that the soldier should be reinstated, or the DOD had to pay him about R7 million. This example showed that sometimes it was not about following consequence management, but the difficulty involved in applying such orders.

The Minister said that the Mozambican situation was a difficult one, because there were different aspects to it. The Committee was welcome to be briefed on the proceedings of the DOD, but it should be at a different forum. The situation was complex, because when the DOD went to Mozambique to assist South Africans, some of them had refused to come back because they said they had to get permission from their employers first. The DOD worked hard to make sure that South Africans were protected, adding that the security of citizens was important.

The Committee heard that a lot of money that had been injected into operations at Denel, and it involved a project that had been going on for some time, and this meant that the work must continue. The DOD would brief Cabinet on the progress and capabilities of Denel because of budgetary constraints, and would decide on what must be done so that the work may be completed. The Defence Force was the main user of Denel.

On the matter of contractors, the Minister told the Committee that one of the agreements between South Africa and Cuba had been the transfer of skills. This had been ongoing, and there were results that could be shown to substantiate the transfer of skills. The collaboration between South Africa and Cuba had saved the country millions, and was a good initiative.

The DOD was working hard to reduce the compensation of employees (COE) deficit, and knew that this could not be achieved in less than two financial years. However, the end goal was important, and the HR strategy addressed how this should be tackled in future. The reprioritisation of the budget had been done through the National Treasury. It may not be satisfactory, but was a function that was carried out by the DOD's internal staff in consultation with other stakeholders.

She closed by saying that DOD did not have a problem with giving the Committee a briefing on the Mozambique situation, but it was important to have the meeting behind closed doors. She had received several calls from the private sector and government delegates who were asking the SANDF to go to Mozambique and collect South Africans who wanted to come back. Unfortunately, only the remains of the deceased South African and his immediate family had come back. The SANDF could not force citizens to come back.

The Chairperson thanked the Minister for her responses to the Committee. He said that the problem had been that information that had come out was not correct, and the Minister had clarified the issues. He also requested that when the Minister appeared before the Cabinet for funding, the Minister of Finance consider the proposal of the Committee in which they had proposed different models for ring fencing money on some projects. The vessels required money for upgrading, and the Committee was of the view that having funds ring-fenced would assist in making sure that the servicing of the vessels would be possible, and more equipment could be obtained. There was a risk involved with the Mozambique crisis, and more was still yet to come, but the country should not be caught off guard.

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said that South Africa had an embassy in Chad, where the head of state had been killed. This had resulted in countries evacuating their citizens, and the directive was that the DOD had to go and evacuate South African citizens, which was one of its duties. When the request came, it was difficult because there were other measures that had to be considered because of the distance from the embassy, but the mission in Chad had been accomplished successfully. She said they had carried out missions without complaint, but the issue of budget constraints was not considered. It did not matter how many clearances they had to get to complete a mission, they executed their mandate and fulfilled the directives. The aircraft that went to Chad came back with only one person. She appreciated the idea of a funding model that had been proposed by the Chairperson.

Further discussion

The Chairperson asked the delegation from the DOD if they would deal with the other questions that had not been answered by the Minister. Could they indicate how much was in the reserves?

Mr Siphiwe Sokhela, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), DOD, said the Department would provide the information to the Committee.

The Minister said that under normal circumstances, the medical support systems of the principals should be located within the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS), but what had happened was that medical personnel moved around with principals, and the Department had to deal with their logistics which included their transport, allowances and accommodation expenses. The reality of the matter was that the matter had not been handled well by SAMHS, and there had been various complaints.

The Chairperson thanked the Minister for explaining the function shift. He asked Members if the meeting could be concluded.

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula asked if the DOD team could respond to the 28 Squadron matter.

Mr Marais agreed to concluding the meeting, saying that there were still many more issues that had to be discussed and the Committee should set aside time for another meeting.

Mr Mmutle also agreed that the meeting should be concluded.  His view on the Denel project was that of if it was a good idea to continue with it, or that other alternatives should be looked at.

The Chairperson said that it was clear that the annual performance plan (APP) was sealed, and some of the targets would not be achieved considering the budget cuts. The budget was declining, but the targets were also going down, so it was advisable for the DOD to come to the Committee and brief them on matters, especially the flying hours, and discuss whether the targets were realistic. It was important that the DOD set realistic targets which they could achieve with the available budget, and they had to look at these issues as a team.

The Chairperson noted that the Deputy Minister was absent because he was attending a bereavement.

Minister's closing comments

Minister Napisa-Nqakula, in closing, said that she accepted the suggestions that were given by the Chairperson, and they were preparing for a working session with the Secretary for Defence. For as long as the DOD did not meet the target for flying hours, they would not be able to do a good job. The numbers achieved had been low, which had resulted in no progress over a considerable period. It was not acceptable for a defence force of South Africa’s calibre to be unable to meet its targets.

She told the Committee the reserve force had lost two pilots, and it was unacceptable to have a limited number of reserve pilots. The demands of the country, continent and the region meant that there would come a time when the DOD was called to action, and they had to be on board. However, at the moment the numbers were not satisfying.

The Chairperson thanked the DOD team for their presentation and excused them from the meeting.

Castle Control Board presentation  

Mr Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO, Castle Control Board (CCB), said the Castle of Good Hope had been transformed into a globally significant, truly accessible centre of excellence that showcased South Africa’s shared heritage.

“Operation Clean Audit” was still on track, two interns had updated paperwork and administration, and quarterly dashboard updates had been presented to the audit committee and Board to open communication with the AGSA team. The Castle gardening and maintenance team used the Integrated Conservation Management Plan (ICMP) as their handbook. The regional works regiment had posted a major to oversee a preventative maintenance plan. As recently as 29 April, they had implemented a “stop works-order” when a client wanted to erect a stretch tent attached to the building. The launch of the new Camissa Museum & Centre for Restorative Memory had ushered the Castle on to the global heritage stage.

The CCB had put all personnel movements on hold until they had successfully dealt with the funding conundrum. COVID-19 had affected the previous financial year, when cash-flow was curtailed, but it had since radically improved. The Committee had urged the CCB to address the audit challenges pointed out by the AGSA, as it should not matter who audited them, in that they had to ensure that their submitted reports met the expected requirements and standards, especially given that they were a relatively small entity that was operating with a relatively small budget. CCB had taken this matter very seriously and had put a review and editing process in place that would prevent future occurrences.

 He concluded that the CBB was always open to sharing ideas with the Committee and on improving its work.


Mr M Shelembe (DA) referred to the concern that had been raised by the AG on the need to move from an unqualified to a clean audit report, and said it was important that the CCB work to achieve this status, He wanted to know how long it would take to achieve it.

Mr Gilfellan said that they could not keep qualified people with degrees to do filing work. They planned to create more roles and to stabilise more positions by making them permanent.

The Chairperson asked the Minister to give closing remarks.

The Minister said that the Castle had done well considering the circumstances. It had a rich history, so she invited Committee Members to go for a visit. She had approached Parliament to have some meetings at the Castle, as it needed some cash injection.

She closed off by inviting the Committee to attend a parade.

The Chairperson told Members that they should consider the Minister's invitation.

The meeting was adjourned.



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