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DEFENCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
21 June 2005
ARMSCOR AMENDMENT BILL: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Professor A Asmal (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Armaments Corporation of South Africa, Limited Amendment Bill [B14-2005]
Letter from Ministry of Defence (dated 15 June 2005) to Committee Chairperson regarding Amendment to Armaments Corporation of South Africa Limited Act [Act 51 2003]
The Committee was presented with a letter from the Minister of Defence dated 15 June 2005. This formalised the request that, because of a perceived conflict of interest, the Armscor Amendment Bill should remove the Secretary for Defence from Armscor’s Board of Directors. The Committee agreed to this amendment and referred it to Parliament for adoption.
The Committee had been scheduled to discuss capital acquisition, procurement, the Committee report on the Department budget 2005/06, and the inventory of equipment and disposal of excess material. However, the Department had informed the Chairperson that the presentation would not be ready in time for the meeting.
Mr M Sayedali-Shah (DA) and Mr N Booi (ANC) agreed that there was a conflict of interest with the Secretary of Defence serving on Armscor’s Board of Directors. He supported the Department recommendation.
Mr V Ndhlovu (IFP) pointed out that the Department Director-General of the Department needed someone to brief him on decisions taken by the Board.
Mr Booi commented that by removing the Secretary from the Board, he/she would be in a better position to adjudicate on decisions from a clearer perspective.
Adv H Schmidt (DA) also agreed that there could be a conflict of interest when funds were transferred to Armscor from the Department. Dr G Koornhof (ANC) and Mr O Monareng (ANC) also agreed.
The Chairperson observed that there was cross-Party support for the amendment. The Committee therefore agreed that the Act should be amended accordingly and referred to Parliament for adoption.
The Chairperson informed the Committee that the Department had contacted him to inform him that the presentation on capital acquisition, procurement, the Budget vote 2005/06, and the inventory of equipment and disposal of excess material was not ready, and therefore that discussion would have to be postponed.
The meeting was adjourned.
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