Budget briefing

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Defence and Military Veterans

03 June 2004
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

DEFENCE AD HOC COMMITTEE
4 JUNE 2004
BUDGET BRIEFING

Chairperson:
Mr M Booi (ANC)

Documents handed out:
SA Army: Structure and Output [photographs have been removed]
SA Army: Routine of soldiers in military bases (Attached as Appendix 1)

SUMMARY
The Department briefed the Committee on the structure and output of the SANDF, and on the division of funds allocated to legal services.

MINUTES
The Chairperson said the Department would welcome all Members to attend its budget workshop from 9 - 21 June. Brigadier Mushala from the Infantry Army, briefed the Committee on the structure and output of the SANDF. The Army's strategic guidelines stressed continuous improvement of regional support and the creation of a growth environment within the Department. Rear-Admiral D Smart, Chief of Military and Legal Services, briefed the Committee on the division of funds allocated to legal services.

Discussion:

Mr C Burgess (ID) said senior Military Judges were scarce. He asked what the funds allocated for legal services had been used for. Admiral D Smart replied that R65 million had been allocated to legal services, of which 86.7% had been used for the salaries of approximately 287 personnel, of whom 180 were professional officers.

180 personnel. Operating costs accounted for only 13%. The limited number of staff and an insufficient funding for such operating costs resulted in the inefficiency of Military Courts.

Ms X Makasi (ANC) asked when women would begin to fill top leadership positions within the SANDF. Mr Masilela admitted that representivity had been a major problem. Cabinet had renewed representivity targets. At a management level, the Department had to be 30% female by 2005. Leaders in the Department would be held accountable to meet these targets.

The Chairperson said the Committee had received conflicting reports about the state of the SANDF's equipment. He asked whether the equipment was inadequate, as stated in the annual review, or sufficient, as stated by members of the Department, including the Chief of Defence.

Major-General Lusse, Joint Operations, said although most critical equipment had been renewed, military vehicles had been a major problem. Tanks were 50 years old and support vehicles were 30 years old. Acquisition Programmes could take 10-15 years to realise. This created the danger of block obsolescence.

Mr Masilela said Strategic Defence Packages had been introduced to avoid this. The first phase had dealt with the equipment needs of the Navy and Airforce. The second phase would deal with the needs of the Army. Mr Masilela felt there had been no contradictory reports about the state of SANDF equipment.

Mr M Sayedeli-Shah (ANC) asked if soldiers in Burundi had been adequately prepared for their new role as peacekeepers. Mr Lusse replied that area-specific mission training had been completed before deployment. This included information on infrastructure, culture, diseases, and languages. Soldiers in Burundi had been provided with a pocket French Dictionary.

Mr Shah asked if the SANDF had an exit mechanism in place in case things "turned ugly" in Burundi. Mr Lusse said a Cabinet-approved exit strategy was always devised before every deployment.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

APPENDIX 1:

SA
ARMY ROUTINE OF SOLDIERS IN MILITARY BASES

INTRODUCTION
• Daily routine may vary, as result of type of unit
• Training Unit
• Operational Unit
• External and internal deployment headquarters may also have unique routines
• Basic daily routine as indicated is the baseline

DAILY ROUTINE (1 SAI Bn)
• 05:00 - Reveille (Awake, getting ready)
• 06:00 - Inspection (Rooms, dress, equipment)
• 06:30 to 07:15 - Breakfast
• 07:30 to 08:00 - Roll Call
• 08:00 to 10:00 - Activities (normally training)
• 10:10 to 10:30 - Tea Break
• 10:30 to 12:45 - Activities (normally training)
• 12:45 to 13:30 - Lunch
• 13:30 to 15:00 - Activities (normally training
• 15:00 to 15:45 - Physical Training
• 15:45 to 16:10 - Roll Call
• 17:00 to 18:00 - Supper
• 18:00 onwards - Own Activities (leisure)

DAILY ROUTINE (1 SAI Bn)

Wednesdays


• Battalion Parade
• Officer Commanding Communication Period
• Chaplain's Period
• Sport

Saturday and Sunday


• Own Activities
• Duty Personnel on Duty

DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

(External
Operations)

• Conducting Health Assessment - 1 Month
• Preparation Trg & Revision in Mil Skills - 3 Months
• Mission Readiness Trg and Final Preparation for Deployment - 4 Weeks
• External Deployment - 6 Months
• Leave (Accumulated for Period of Dept) - 2 Months

DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE (Internal Operations)

• Retraining in Mil Skills Required - 1 Month
• Internal Deployment (Includes Mission Readiness Training) - 3 Months
• Operational Leave - 2 Weeks
• Annual Vacation Leave - 4 Weeks
• Retraining, Advance Trg, Training Exercises and Individual Development Courses - Rest of Year

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