Transformation Management Developments; SANDF Deployment to West Indies, Nepal, Mozambique

Defence

25 May 2007
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Meeting report

JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE

JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE
25 May 2007
TRANSFORMATION MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENTS; SANDF DEPLOYMENT TO WEST INDIES, NEPAL, MOZAMBIQUE

Chairperson: Mr S Montsitsi (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Transformation Management Chief Directorate (TMCD) update
President’s Letters on SANDF Deployment to West Indies, Nepal, Mozambique [please email info@pmg.org.za]

SUMMARY
The Chief Director in charge of Transformation Management in the South African Defence Force (SANDF) gave an account of the work of the Transformation Management Chief Directorate. More funding was required for workshops and seminars in order to transform mindsets. She stated that the Chief of the SANDF needed to enforce the changes that were instated because those with lower rank could not act insubordinately to more highly ranked officers who were not adhering to the transformation instructions. The Directorate would present the request for more funding from the Department of Defence. One of the biggest obstacles was the attitudes of those in high ranks who were spreading their entrenched attitudes to the rest of the soldiers.

The Committee approved the letters from the President informing Parliament of his authorisation of the South African National Defence Force deployment to missions in the West Indies, Nepal, Mozambique.

MINUTES
Developments in the Transformation Management Chief Directorate (TMCD)

Major General Ntsiki Motumi (Chief Director: Transformation Management) stated that they had changed the name of the organisation from ‘Equal Opportunity’ to the Transformation Management Chief Directorate (TMCD), because it highlighted their mandate. Their objectives were outlined and they required adequate funds to enhance service delivery. If an additional budget was not allocated then their mandate would have to be reviewed (see document). The presentation looked at the TMCD achievements, objectives, budget allocation, gender statistics, challenges and its required support.

Discussion
Ms P Daniels (ANC) stated she would like to see the statistics of the number of women in senior positions. She asked if the TMCD was responsible for all transformation in the military.

Maj Gen Motumi replied that the statistics were clear in the presentation of the number of women in the military in senior positions, however it was also clear such positions are predominately held by males. Some of them believed that women should just not be allowed within that circle.

Ms Daniels asked if the TMCD had a plan to address the issue. She noted that in previous presentations it had been stated that the mindset had to be changed. She wanted to know if the TMCD had initiated workshops or seminars in order to change the mindset of those who resisted change.

Ms Daniels asked if the problem was that women were not aggressive enough or strong enough to deal with the problems of discrimination. She asked where exactly the specific problem was.

Maj Gen Motumi replied that their key responsibility was to conduct programmes to address that type of the behaviour. They had tried to change the thinking of both women and men. The programs that different sections of the military present were introduced by the TCMD, as they are the institution that deals with transformation at a corporate level. They do not have the staff for every program, as their role is to monitor. The military was mostly male and because of socialisation, women have been relegated to play gender specific roles. They required progress that built confidence and boosted affirmation in women during training.

Ms Daniels requested clarification on the exit mechanism that the military offered.

Maj Gen Motumi stated that the Department of Defence (DOD) had a new strategy. It wanted to rejuvenate the military. The terms of Generals were supposed to be for only four years but they have remained in that position for longer. Since the Generals had not adhered to the regulations, other officers were uncertain of their position in the military. The complaint was that they had not received enough in the package. The terms of the exit strategy were voluntary. She stated she could not emphasise enough the entrenched attitudes of their male compatriots and the feeble excuses that were issued.

Mr J Schippers (ANC) was concerned about other challenges that had not been mentioned.

Maj Gen Motumi replied that attitude of those who do not participate in and adhere to the changes, presented a challenge. There were those who did not adapt to the transformation and did not encourage encouraging women in the military.

Mr Schippers referred to the highlights or the period 1 April 2006 to 30 April 2007 and asked for the statistics for the hearing impaired. However, Maj Gen Motumi replied that that she did not have those statistics with her.

Mr Schippers referred to the annual peacekeeping conference and asked whether peacekeeping forces required a 50/50 male to female ratio.

Maj Gen Motumi stated that quotas were not an issue there as serving in peacekeeping missions was voluntary.

Mr Schippers referred to gender analysis and asked what the TMCD would do if the goal of 40% women in the military could not be achieved.

Maj Gen Motumi replied that the Chief of the SANDF should issue the instruction and that it it required the Chief to enforce the regulations. They would need to protect women and place them in positions that would best suit their uniqueness them, as they had incidents where women have broken their pelvis.

Ms M Seadimo (ANC) was concerned about funding as well as the lack of detail in the presentation on the budget and on risks and implications.

Maj Gen Motumi replied that the reason she did not go into detail in the risk and implications section of her presentation, was because they still had a chance to meet with the Department of Defence to present their issues and hopefully receive an increased budget.

Adv Z Madasa (ANC) asked what mechanisms were in place. There appeared to be no response to this question.

The Chairperson concluded that they should not entertain an attitude of despair although it seemed that they were up against a wall when it came to the entrenched attitudes of their male compatriots. They could not give up and they had to adopt the attitude of transformation.

Regarding transformation, the Chairperson felt that they were on track, and should continue to push for the changes to take place.

President’s Letters on SANDF Deployment to West Indies, Nepal, Mozambique
The Chairperson read through the letters from the Office of the President. The first letter referred to the deployment of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) to the West Indies during the Cricket World Cup. The letter contained all the relevant information about numbers of SANDF personnel and dates but did not include the amount that had been spent. However the Chairperson thought that the United Cricket Board might have covered that amount. The second letter referred to the employment of the SANDF in Nepal as part of the United Nations. This would employ members as military observers for a period of twelve months and the expenditure amount was stated as R1.5 million. The third letter referred to employment of the SANDF to Mozambique.

The Committee accepted their Committee Report approving the authorisation by the President on the employment of the SANDF to the West Indies, Nepal and Mozambique.

Meeting adjourned.

 

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