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DEFENCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
1 February 2005
OVERSIGHT VISITS TO SWARTKLIP PRODUCTS AND SALDANHA MILITARY ACADEMY: REPORTS ADOPTION; DEPARTMENT STRATEGIC DOCUMENTS: BRIEFING
Acting Chairperson: Mr D Koornhof (ANC)
Documents handed out
PowerPoint presentation on the Department's Strategic and Business Plan for 2004/05 and 2005/06
Committee Report on oversight visit to Swartklip Products (hard copies available on request)
Committee Report on oversight visit to Military Academy at Saldanha Bay (hard copies available on request)
The Committee discussed and amended its oversight reports. The Reports would be adopted in upcoming Committee meetings. The Department presented its strategic and business plan for 2004/05 and 2005/06. Deterioration of hospitals, facilities and equipment and the high rate of medical inflation were some of the problems faced. The non-provision of employees with scarce skills and the rural areas allowances, was negatively affecting the staff of the Department. The Department was still using outdated information technology and this was risky. Members asked further about staff exit strategies and overcoming risks facing the Department this year.
In the absence of Professor K Asmal, Dr Koornhof chaired the meeting.
Mr J Rautenbach (Director: Budget Control), Dr M Khanyile, Mr A Visser (Chief Director: Strategic Management) and Mr T Motumi (Deputy Director-General: Chief of Policy & Planning) represented the Department.
Mr Visser presented the Department's strategic plan (see document attached). They highlighted the Department's performance against the plan for the financial year 2004/05 and the draft Strategic Business Plan for the financial year 2005/06. The summary of performance against targets was based on the Department's last three Quarterly Reports. A full overview would be given in the Annual Report that would be tabled at the end of August 2005. He identified various risks and ways in which the Department planned to deal with them.
Mr B Ndlovu (IFP) asked if the Department had a staff exit policy, given that the Department intended to replace old staff members with new recruits.
Mr Motumi replied that the Department was discussing an exit policy with the Department of Public Service and National Treasury. Most departments also had ageing staff and this was a cause for concern. The Department was also engaged in discussion with the South African Police Services with the view to transferring some of its staff to the Police Services. It was not just a question of reducing the number of personnel, but also making sure that each programme of the Department had the right number of staff required for it to function properly.
Mr S Ntuli (ANC) asked if the recent recruitment of 3 500 staff was aimed at rejuvenating the Department.
Mr Motumi replied in the affirmative. It was important to build a Defence Force for the future. However, it was difficult to get old employees out of the Department, given budgetary constraints.
Dr Koornhof noted that the Department faced major maritime risks, asked about the Department's plans to deal with these for the next year.
Mr Motumi replied that there was nothing that his Department could do since it was the Department of Public Works' responsibility to refurbish buildings.
Ms S Rajbally (MF) asked if the Department's recruitment campaign was limited to South Africans. Mr Visser replied that only South Africans were eligible to serve in the South African Army.
Committee Report on oversight visit to Swartklip Products
The Committee considered its report on an oversight visit to Swartklip Products. (See document attached). The visit was undertaken on 10 November 2005. The Committee discussed and made some minor amendments to the report. It could not adopt it because there were not enough Members to constitute a quorum. The report would be adopted in an upcoming meeting.
Committee Report on oversight visit to Military Academy at Saldanha Bay
The Committee discussed and made some minor amendments to the report. (See document attached). The report would be presented to Professor Asmal for his perusal before being adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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