1 Military Hospital - Repair and Maintenance Programme: Department of Defence briefing, with Minister; Discussion on letters received by General Holomisa


03 June 2021
Chairperson: Mr V Xaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Joint Standing Committee met virtually for a briefing on the Repair and Maintenance Programme at the 1 Military Hospital by the Department of Defence. The Department said that the situation at the hospital has not improved mainly because of the legacy issues that were inherited in 2015, when the Department of Defence took over the project from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

The Committee raised concerns that the Department of Defence had made no progress renovating the first floor of the 1 Mil Hospital since the Committee’s last oversight visit. The Committee also asked about the status of the forensic report on the investigations that were conducted on the work that was done by the Department of Public Works. Members requested details on the allocated budget for the project and how it was spent. The Committee questioned the funds available for the completion of the 1 Mil Hospital renovation project. The R1.5 billion project was initiated in 2006, and there was concern that there has been no value for money.

The Committee considered issues arising from discussions in the previous meeting on allegations by a whistle-blower that had been brought to the Joint Committee by Dr B Holomisa (UDM). Members were concerned that the identity of witness who had information from the whistle-blower was unknown and that many details were unclear. The Committee agreed that an administrative task team be set up (in terms of the Rules) to advise the Committee. The composition of the task team and its terms of reference will be decided at a special meeting on 9 June. The Chairperson said the task team should report back to the Committee in the third week of August 2021.

Meeting report

The Chairperson said that the Department of Defence (DOD) would report on the repairs and maintenance programme at 1 Military Hospital. The Committee was informed that the Department conducted an investigation into the construction work at the hospital and the investigation report has been finalised and executed. The construction started in 2006 under the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) until (in 2015) a request was made by the DOD to take over because Public Works was not honouring its contractual terms. The Committee conducted oversight at the hospital and the first floor of the hospital was considered a problem. The Committee appreciated the intervention that was made by the DOD and the Department of Public Works for renovating the first floor of the hospital in 6 weeks which is good performance. The Committee meeting would also look into the letters that were received by Gen. Holomisa and other outstanding matters.

Input by Minister

Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, said that the renovations at 1 Military Hospital started around 2006. When the nature of the problem was determined, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was instructed to interact with the Department of Public Works and enter into negotiations to take over the renovations. After several engagements, the two Ministers met to discuss the challenges and state of facilities. An agreement was reached for the DOD to take over some of the renovations at the 1 Mil Hospital pending a memorandum of understanding which was signed. The Minister said that when the Department took over the renovations at 1 Mil Hospital, there were a lot of problems that were encountered. Reports were submitted by the Council of Defence on the contractors who found it difficult that the DOD had taken over. The DOD could never anticipate that there would a resistance to change by the contractors. During the intervention at 1 Mil Hospital, the Minister said that she wanted to take advantage of the [opportunity] to renovate at least one floor of the hospital to increase bed space to avoid future problems. It is unacceptable that soldiers have to go to private clinics because there is a lack of resources in the hospital. The work to renovate the hospital floor was done in 6 weeks and the floor included all the requirements to accommodate sick soldiers. The Minister said that if there is willingness and determination by the members of the Defence Force then it is possible to complete the work on time. The only remaining concern is what will happen to the contractors who are resisting change after so long since the renovations took place. The Minister also thanked General Joseph Ledwaba for the work that has been done. The challenges and issues can be resolved because there are specialists at 1 Mil Hospital who can assist in addressing the challenges.  

Mr S Marais (DA) said that during the 2015 oversight visit, the state of the first floor pharmacy was still the same with no improvements which was a concern.

Mr T Mafanya (EFF) said that the Minister truly reflected everything that was observed during the oversight.

The Chairperson said that the Committee was informed that the DOD would require R1 billion to complete the work that was started by the Department of Public Works and that the first floor of the hospital which was meant to host the Emergency theatre, Pharmacy and Radiology section has to be reprioritised for a later stage because of the challenges. Another issue was the leaking roofs in the hospital where documents get wet. Heavy floods are experienced at the hospital and a solution needs to be formulated. Work can be outsourced to try and resolve the challenges because skilled people are resorting to leaving the hospital. One of the doctors previously mentioned that it is difficult working in the conditions of the hospital especially if you are not trained. The Chairperson said that the pride of the hospital needs to be restored.

Department of Defence (DoD) Repair and Maintenance Programme (RAMP) at 1 Military Hospital
Major General Joseph Ledwaba, General Officer Commanding: Defence Works Formation (DWF), provided the background of the Repair and Maintenance Program (RAMP) project initiated in 2006. The DOD took over the project from DPWI after gaps were identified in the work that was done including dysfunctional mechanical and electrical systems, dysfunctional fire detection and fire suppression as well as damaged sewerage pipes and rusted water pipes. An investigation was initiated on the project to determine what can be done. A detailed audit indicated that the money that was spent by DPWI between 2006 and 2015 was around R479 million. This amount was from outsourcing, which was supposedly addressed by DPWI. He said that the outsourcing statistics have not been updated which is why they only go up till 2015/2016, but they will be updated and forwarded to the Committee.

The Minister asked why the updated statistics are not being presented instead of the DPWI statistics.

General Ledwaba said that background had been requested on the separate projects, RAMP and the first floor renovations. He said that the DWF was aware that in 2015, when the project was taken over by the Department, that the Department had R800 million available for refurbishments, which was not only meant for the 1 Mil Hospital. The project was divided into two. The first one was going to address mechanical and electrical systems in the first floor including the pharmacy and the second project was to perform a thorough evaluation of the hospital to make it fully functional especially the disposal of medical waste. The designs of the first floor project have been completed but there have been challenges such as delays caused by the implemented budget cuts. He said that an agreement was entered into with DBSA (the Development Bank of South Africa) to assist with completing the project on time and to ensure that soldiers gain practical experience. Specific timeframes were not determined because of the uncertainty of the availability of funds but as soon as the funds are available the first floor project can be done.

The Chairperson noted that R400 million had been spent by DPWI by the time the DOD took over the project. He asked what the total budget was at the time as well as what the major findings of the audit report were and how far the Department is in implementing corrective actions to the findings.

On the forensic investigations at 1 Mil Hospital, Lieutenant General Jabulani Mbuli, Chief of Logistics: SANDF, said that the Inspector General contracted forensic investigators and the report has been submitted to the DOD. The report has been observed and forwarded to the Military Police to address the issues and deal with the implicated individuals.

On the total budget, General Ledwaba said that a full written report will be forwarded to the Committee. The R800 million for refurbishment projects was broken down into smaller projects. The report will indicate how the projects were funded and that when Treasury allocated money for the RAMP project it focused on specific facilities. The report will also show how the R800 million was broken down and allocated for the various facilities. The R800 million was not allocated for the 1 Mil Hospital alone but for other facilities as well.

The Chairperson said that it is important to know how much was spent by the Department since the takeover, how much DPWI had spent when the takeover took place as well as how much still needs to be spent on the project. The Committee would appreciate this information to understand the setbacks that the shortfalls have caused for government.

Ms Sonto Kudjoe, Secretary for Defence, said that slide 9 of the presentation showed that dividing the project into two was necessary and that certain aspects of the hospital do not function, so outsourcing had to be done. She said that the Department has started the process of the devolution of assets and a that a task team was formed on the matter. Two additional departments were involved in the task team: the Department of Treasury and DBSA. The DOD will save on services such as water and electricity and have a surplus of R5 million. The Defence Force must work to become more sustainable. During the process of dissolving assets from DPWI there are skills which must be developed. The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has already started the work with engineers and quantity surveyors so that the Department has its own in-house skills instead of paying a lot of money to outsource these skills. She said that there needs to be speed in the dissolving of assets from DPWI to avoid a lot of money being spent. On the investigations, she said that the former chief of the SANDF outsourced skills to conduct the investigations at the 1 Mil Hospital and the report was finalised in December 2020. Specific recommendations were made including that the report had to be resubmitted for further investigation by the South African Police Services (SAPS). Some of the issues that are being addressed by the Department like the 7th floor renovations are being carried out by employees who shadow the DBSA staff because there was no capacity in the Department. There was also a recommendation to strengthen leadership and this has been addressed.

Mr Marais said that outsourcing since 2015/2016 probably cost hundreds of millions per year. It is important to know how much was spent on outsourcing because it helps the Committee understand which budget items is the money for outsourcing coming from, and what will happen if the money is not spent on outsourcing. Will the money be available for construction or the RAMP project? He also asked how much was spent in total per year since 2015/2016 on the 1 Mil Hospital project. On the R1.5 billion from 2015, he said that might be the money to complete the project and asked whether this is the case. He also asked how much of the R1.5 billion is for construction and how much is for equipment. On radiology, he said that when the 1 Mil Hospital was visited in 2015/2016 there was a huge wooden crate of radiology equipment that was labelled as outdated technology. He said that part of the R1.5 billion should be allocated for technology in the laboratories and theatre. How much money is allocated specifically for this technology? He noted that the plan going forward has been broken down into years, which must be part of a medium term budget. He asked for further details on this and how much is provided and allocated for the 1 Mil Hospital project.

Mr Mafanya said that the issues started in 2006 and that there have been attempts to address the issues by both the Ministers of Defence and Public Works through the memorandum of understanding that was signed. There has been a movement in the RAMP activities and he said that some issues are being resurfaced even after they were addressed. He noted that there is a sense of urgency when strict directives are given by the Minister to the Generals and that there is no urgency from the Generals to execute tasks. The issue of the leaking roof as mentioned by the General is concerning because a plumber still cannot get the job done which clearly shows that there is no consequence management. On the budget of R1.5 billion, he said that the technical staff must reinvest certain budgets with specific timeframes so that outsourcing is avoided. There needs to be clear plans that are drafted instead of projections which will show that there is movement to complete the hospital, considering that there are budget cuts.

The Chairperson said that General Ledwaba mentioned that the contractual commitments that were inherited from DPWI were not met. The Chairperson asked for clarity on the matter and the value of the commitments.

On the R1.5 billion, General Mbuli said that the amount is from the beginning of the takeover and the amount available for the project. The R1.5 billion includes the medical equipment that has to be installed and that the Department has two options, to either buy the equipment or to lease it.

General Ledwaba said that a yearly breakdown of the budget will be drafted from 2006 to date and that an indication will be provided as outlined in slide 6 of the presentation which shows the milestones of the project. On the contractual issues, he said that when the Department took over the project from DPWI, DPWI had already contracted a number of companies and negotiations had to be held to place all the companies under one umbrella. DPWI said that if the contracts with the companies are terminated then the DOD will have to pay the companies their fees in full. He said that the Department will gladly provide the Committee with the information required. On the issue of the leaking roof, he said that there are discussions with DPWI for the roof to be fixed with no cost to the DOD. If the Department takes over the responsibility of repairing the roof, then it will be done before there is rainfall and DPWI will have to refund the Department. He said that DPWI was informed on the under-performance of the contractors who were responsible for fixing the roof and DPWI refused to release the contractor of its duties. Specific timeframes have been given to DPWI to resolve the matter. On the issue of consequence management, he said that when a contractor is under DPWI, the DOD can only report the matter to DPWI. DPWI then has the power to put measures in place to address the matter. Unfortunately, in most cases the Department did not win but some matters were addressed by DPWI. He said that the task teams have given the Department some kind of power because the matters can be escalated to a higher authority other than DPWI.

The Chairperson said that SANDF is failing to explain what the responsibility of DPWI is concerning the forensic audit report. There was an assumption that the report is overseen by both the DOD and DPWI. The Chairperson asked who is in charge of this report because it will help in holding whoever is responsible accountable for the findings. The recommendations provided in the report are well understood.

Ms Kudjoe said that the Department initiated an investigation out of concern. The report came back with a lot of issues concerning DPWI. The infrastructure of the Department is run by DPWI so there are also legal issues which have to be addressed. The Director-General of DPWI wrote to the Department stating that the Department has to request certain things from DPWI even though the Minister of Public Works had already initiated a hand-over to the DOD. She said that unless the legal issues are resolved it will be difficult for the Department to carry on with work because the majority of consultants were not appointed by the Department but by DPWI. Some recommendations are difficult to implement because some of the agreements were not entered into with the Department. She said that the task teams are supposed to help the Department in setting timeframes for the provision of services and that some of the challenges are that the contractors are re-signing contracts with DPWI even though the investigation report implicates them. The report has to be shared with DPWI to raise awareness. She said that the money allocated for the project comes from the DOD but the implementers are DPWI and that the matter has been raised with the Auditor-General because audits will be on the same issues for both the Department and the DPWI. The Department has other infrastructure challenges besides the 1 Mil Hospital so the challenges have to be addressed to avoid the same issues being raised.

The Chairperson asked when the report will be shared with DPWI because it may seem like the DOD is investigating the DPWI especially since there is no co-ownership of the report. The Chairperson asked what the plans of the Department are concerning the report which implicated officials in DPWI.

Ms Kudjoe said that there were agreements with the chief of the Department to forward the report to SAPS for further investigations and that the report will also be shared with DPWI afterwards. She said that she will confirm on the progress of the report being shared.

The Chairperson said that the problem is when the matter is let up even though there is a task team. He asked when the report will be forwarded so that a common approach is developed?

Mr Marais asked whether the investigation report will be made available for the Committee to look at, because it affects the Committee’s budget and oversight responsibilities.

The Chairperson said that since 2019, back when the Committee conducted oversight at the 1 Mil Hospital, the Committee wrote to the Department in April 2021 requesting an update on what has happened since the oversight visit. The response was that the Department is still in the process of engaging with Treasury to obtain a deviation to address all issues concerning the repairs and maintenance at the 1 Mil Hospital’s first floor and that the Department is investigating and exploring the utilization of the memorandum of understanding with DBSA to partake in addressing the refurbishment at the 1 Mil Hospital. The Chairperson asked on the progress of addressing the issues based on the statement that was sent to the Committee because some money has been spent and also asked on the progress made on the first floor of the hospital since the Committee’s last oversight visit.

Mr Marais shared the Chairperson’s sentiments and said that the information in the presentation is not new to the Committee which shows that there is no progress being made. Instead, money is being wasted without any value for it.

The Chairperson invited General Ledwaba to respond to the questions because when the Committee was conducting oversight, General Ledwaba informed the Committee that the equipment suited for the first floor project is still required and that deviation letters are still awaited from Treasury.

On the challenges listed in the statement, General Ledwaba said that the issues have been resolved and that the Department is aware of the kind of radiology equipment that is required for the 1 Mil Hospital. He said that there are two things that the Department is waiting for: to resolve the contractual matters and the issues highlighted in the forensic report. He also said that funding has been depleted which is why the project was broken down.

The Chairperson said that General Ledwaba told the Committee during the oversight visit that the scope was redefined, this meant that the walls had to be broken down.

General Ledwaba said that the walls were broken down and that the redefining of the scope was done but the Department is stuck with the contractual matters which can only be resolved through the forensic report. The Department will be able to roll out the project once the contractual issues and funding are resolved.

The Chairperson said that it is critical for a buy-in to exist from the DPWI into the forensic reports to resolve the contractual challenges.

Ms Kudjoe said that there are engagements to hand over the report to the DPWI because unless the issues are resolved it will affect progress.

The Chairperson said that said that there is a new chief in office and that the Department should forward the report. There should be joint collaboration between the Department and DPWI on the findings and recommendations otherwise there will be no progress. The matter of the report will be left to the Heads of the two Departments. The Chairperson said that, if all else fails, the Committee can invite the Minister of Public Works to provide information and details on the level of acceptance of the report by DPWI.

Mr Marais agreed with the Chairperson and said that the Committee cannot be kept waiting for another three months before any action is taken.

The Chairperson requested SANDF to share the forensic report with DPWI and that the matter will be re-discussed once this has been done. The information that was promised to the Committee must be submitted by Thursday, 10 June 2021.

The Department agreed to submit all the required documents.

The Chairperson released the Department and all representatives.  

Letters from General Holomisa

[This is a continuation of discussions from 21 May 2021, reported by PMG at https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/33085/ ]

The Chairperson asked for feedback on the letter that was still outstanding even though the Committee has received responses from the Minister.

Mr Peter Daniels, Committee Content Advisor, said that the Minister did not submit a response in the seven days that was allocated by the Committee but requested an extension to 4 June 2021.  

The Chairperson asked whether the statement that was received by the Committee could be further clarified by the person who submitted it.

Mr Daniels said that the response from the Secretary of Defence should be received first and then the co-Chairpersons should liaise with the legal section and decide on the way forward, before the Committee itself can propose a way forward.

The Chairperson said that the Committee is losing a week in the process because there is recess till August. The response from Dr Gulube is still awaited by the Committee [- the former Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, retired from the public service in 2020]. Nothing has been heard from the person who submitted the statements. The Chairperson said that there is no clarity on where the amounts came from and the payments, how the payments were transacted and when they were transacted to the Minister. The complainant said that there was extortion done by the Minister but how does extortion exist when there was no application of force. The complainant’s side of the story can only be understood when it is heard.

Mr Marais said that the legal services were asked on how to deal with the complainant and the allegations that were made according to the Whistle-blowers Act. The legal services replied by saying that a deal with an anonymous person must include witness protection. The appointment of the task team is a better resolution because the Committee is able to deal with the issues in depth instead of in an open session. Careful consultations can also be held with the legal advisors because the allegations are concerning. He asked whether there is more solid evidence instead of circumstantial evidence because the legal services had mentioned that a statement or affidavit from the complainant is not a proper route to follow. The Committee cannot wait for two months to get a way forward on the matter because the allegations might be compromised. Clarity needs to be given on the matter before it is too late.

Mr K Motsamai (EFF, Gauteng) said that there is no case because the witness is not coming forward to present their evidence and that time will be wasted on the matter. The witness must be given an opportunity to account in detail on all of the evidence that they have provided.

The Chairperson asked for the legal team’s opinion on the setting up of the task team to resolve the matter and to advise the Committee. The Chairperson said that the statement has to be submitted to the task team so that work can be done during the recess period. Even though the witness wants to be anonymous, the Committee can decide how to treat the witness based on how witnesses are treated in other evidence commissions such as the Zondo Commission where the witnesses are put on record and their evidence is re-examined so that the facts are tested before decisions are taken.

On the Committee’s powers in terms of the joint rules to establish the task team, Ms Sueanne Isaac, Legal Adviser: Parliament of South Africa, said that rule 16 states that the Committee does not have the general power to form a sub-Committee but the rules provide for an alternative appointment for an administrative task team comprised of some members of the Committee. The composition can be determined by the Committee and the task team will serve as an advisory team to the Committee. She said that it is possible for the Committee to assign a task team to advise the Committee on the process of dealing with the matter of the witness. On the statements from the witness, she said that the Committee was advised the previous week that all if the witness wants to come forward to make a statement, then the protection of the witness is assured.

The Chairperson asked whether the witness can be compelled to come forward or is it a choice made by the witness.

Ms Isaac said that the challenge is that the identity of the witness is unknown.

The Chairperson asked why the witness has a choice whether to appear or not appear before the Committee especially if the Committee believes that the witness has information that could assist the Committee. Why does the Committee not have the power to compel the witness?

Mr Siviwe Njikela, Senior Parliamentary Legal Adviser, said that the challenge is that even if a summons was sent for the witness, the witness’ identity is unknown. General Holomisa should be prepared to share that information with the Committee even if it is confidential. He said that another challenge is that the witness is not the whistle-blower but information that implicates the Minister was received by a Member of Parliament and that it is not known whether the information was actually received from the alleged service provider. It is possible that the information could have been leaked by someone else and not the service provider. He said that WhatsApp messages of the Minister were shared by Gen Holomisa. The Minister has not denied the messages but [said] that the messages were taken out of context. It is difficult for the legal services to give advice on the matter because of the loopholes in the statement. He said that it is possible for the Committee to appoint a task team because there are a lot of unknowns that need clarity and that the recess period can be used by the task team to clarity and engage with Gen Holomisa on the matter.

The Chairperson said that the Minister can help with identifying the witness through the WhatsApp messages because the issue of the identity can be resolved and for the issues to be resolved. The witness is the only one who can confirm whether there is proof or not.

Mr M Shelembe (ANC) shared sentiments with the Chairperson that if the Committee does not have extensive information it will be difficult to address the matter especially since the extortion claims are unclear. The legal team has provided a good way forward to identifying the witness. If the witness’ identity is unknown, then the matter will not be resolved. He asked why Dr Gulube decided to leave the institution when he was asked to respond to allegations that were made against him.

The Chairperson said that Dr Gulube has the right to have his lawyer respond on his behalf unlike if he was still serving in the institution as an accounting officer.

Ms N Nkosi (ANC, Mpumalanga) supported the Chairperson’s suggestion that Dr Gulube should be given time to respond to the allegations and she supported the formation of the task team. She raised concerns on the witness who will not come forward because they sent messages to Gen Holomisa. Gen Holomisa will not be able to respond to all the questions of the Committee on the matter so the witness’ identity has to be uncovered.

The Chairperson said that if the content of the conversations between the witness and the Minister were shared with Gen Holomisa, and the witness still wants to remain anonymous, it is not clear why the witness wants to remain anonymous. The identity of the witness has to be uncovered and only after can the witness decide not to share details with the Committee.

Mr Mafanya said that the Committee is in a position where it is incompetent to handle the matter because the Committee is turning itself into investigators. The reality is that there is no proper information coming forth and the advice from the legal team is that the Committee has the right to form a task team that will be given a mandate to attend to the matters. The Committee cannot be investigators until clear directives are given by the appointed task team.

Mr Motsamai said that the task team has to be appointed and that Gen Holomisa cannot be asked any questions by the Committee about the whistle-blower. Gen Holomisa should bring the whistle-blower to the Committee so that questions can be asked, otherwise there is no case.

The Chairperson said that the task team will be set up as two ANC members and one member from each opposition parties.

Ms Nkosi supported the Chairperson’s suggestion.

The Chairperson asked on the rules if the witness wants to be treated as a whistle-blower or if information is taken from a whistle-blower.

Ms Isaac said that an assessment has to be done based on the identity of the whistle-blower and what section of the Protected Disclosures Act applies to the person. But because the identity of the witness is unknown the Act cannot be applied.

The Chairperson asked what happens if the witness wants to give information but wishes to remain anonymous because in other Departments there is a policy that governs the whistle-blowers and asked whether Parliament has the same policy.

Ms Isaac said that there is no specific policy for people who want to remain anonymous but the legislation will have to be applied. The legislation applies to employees or workers and not to witnesses who want to remain anonymous.

The Chairperson asked how the evidence will treated since the witness wants to remain anonymous.

Ms Isaac said that the witness has to be respected and that an affidavit has to be submitted if the witness wants to stay anonymous. The identity of the witness has to be uncovered and then the Whistle-blowers Act can be applied.

The Chairperson asked whether the sworn statement has to be given separately where the witness is isolated and not seen by anyone.

Ms Isaac said that if the witness agrees to make a sworn statement then the issue will be dealt with accordingly because affidavits carry weight.

The Chairperson asked what happens if the witness decides not to provide the Committee with details or to address the Committee.

Ms Isaac said that if the identity of the witness is unknown then they cannot be summoned, but if the identity is known, Section 14 of the Powers and Privileges Act allows the Joint Committee to summon the witness to appear before the Committee.

The Chairperson said that the powers of the Committee were not known but now they are. The Committee is aware that the identity of the witness must be known then the witness can be invited to present oral evidence, if they refuse then the Committee can summon the witness to help the Committee with its investigation.

Mr Marais said that if the witness does not want to be known, then the Committee can only act on the evidence available and determine whether there is a case but hopefully the identity of the witness is uncovered.

Mr Shelembe asked on the proposal of the formation of the task team.

The Chairperson said that the go-ahead on the task team has been given and that it will be administrative in nature to advise the Committee. The composition will be decided by the Committee. The Chairperson asked on the consequences of a witness defying a summons.

Ms Isaac said that in terms of Section 17 of the Powers and Privileges Act the person has committed a criminal offence.

The Chairperson asked whether the responsibility of identifying the witness will be delegated to the task team and to get the witness to give evidence. The Chairperson also asked on the point when the responsibility will be given to the Committee.

Mr Marais said that the Committee has to exhaust all of its legal obligations on the matter and then a recommendation can be made to the Committee on the way forward and whether to proceed with the case.

The Chairperson asked the legal section to develop the terms of reference of the task team.

Ms Isaac confirmed that the terms of reference will be developed.

The Chairperson said that in the third week of August 2021 the task team should report back to the Committee.

Mr Marais agreed with the third week of August 2021.

The Chairperson said that the task team should perform its duties during the recess period.

Mr Motsamai said that the task team cannot be made up of three ANC members and one from each opposition party. He also said that if the witness does not want to appear before the Committee then the witness should be left alone instead of being summoned because it means that there was no case.

The Chairperson asked for an alternative proposal on the composition of the task team.

Mr Motsamai said that the whole Committee should be involved in acquiring the truth on the matter.

Ms M Bartlett (ANC, Northern Cape) supported the suggestion for the task team to be smaller.

Ms Nkosi asked for the terms of reference to be approved by the Chairperson before they are implemented.

The Chairperson said that a special meeting will be held to discuss the terms of reference.

The Committee agreed.

The Chairperson asked on the members that will make up the task team.

Mr Marais said that the selection will be based on attendance and that the names will be forwarded to the content advisor.

The Chairperson said that the special meeting will be for the election of the task team and to adopt the terms of reference. The meeting will be held the following week Wednesday (9 June).

The Committee agreed.

Third Term Programme
Mr Marais asked whether the programme has to be approved in the meeting.

The Chairperson outlined the items of the third term programme of the Committee from August 2021 and asked for the Committee’s approval.

Mr Marais said that the contribution that he made was that the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) should provide the Committee with information on export permits, delays and call back of permits.

The Chairperson asked whether the briefing by the Defence Force Service Commission (DFSC) on their annual activities and the status and implementation of the recommendations on the minutes with the Minister will be dealt with separately or together.

Mr Daniels said that both will be done at the same time.

The Chairperson said that the programme is a working draft in case members want to add anything to the agenda.

Ms M Modise (ANC) said that issues were not clearly stated and the responses were not clear on the 1 Mil Hospital and asked whether the issue can be included in the programme because oversight needs to conducted to monitor the progress at the hospital.

The Chairperson agreed that that the Department should be re-invited to address the issues during the third term and said that the briefing on the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) should be replaced with the briefing on the RAMP project at the 1 Mil Hospital. The Chairperson asked if there are any other issues which should be added to the programme.

Adoption of minutes
The Committee secretary outlined the details of the items in the minutes.

The Chairperson asked whether the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) will be based on the fourth quarter reports that have come before the Committee.

The Committee secretary agreed.

The Chairperson asked if it is because it will be late to consider the BRRR after 13 October 2021 in terms of the finance act.

The Committee secretary said that the Committee has to have a preliminary BRRR which will be finalised once the annual report briefings have been done.

Mr Marais said that normally the Committee would not have a preliminary BRRR because the annual reports would have been received. In the previous year, the annual reports were received late and the BRRR could not be finalised.

The Committee secretary continued with the programme.

The Chairperson said that on 25 August the presentation on the irregular cases should be categorised on the order of occurrence so that the Committee knows how many cases there are in the different divisions and so that the disciplinary action can be questioned.

Mr Marais requested that when the Department reports to the Committee, that the funding of operations scheduled for June should be clarified.

The Chairperson said that the projects are in the report.

The Committee secretary said that Mr Marais’ question will be forwarded to the Department before-hand so that they can adequately respond to it.

The Chairperson said that the third term programme will be submitted to the Department.

The meeting was adjourned.


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