Question NW1559 to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Share this page:

10 August 2021 - NW1559

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

Marais, Mr S to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)(a) On what date did a certain person (name and details furnished) reach the age of 60 years which is the regulated and normal retirement age for members of the SA National Defence Force and (b) what are the reasons that the (i) specified person did not retire when the person reached the age of 60 years and (ii) term of the person as surgeon-general was extended; (2) on what date is it envisaged that the person will finally retire from the specified position, given that a deputy surgeon-general and other competent candidates exist in the SA Military Health Service to act in the position and/or succeed the person; (3) whether the process has commenced for the appointment of the next surgeon-general; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?


(1) (a) Section 19 of the Government Employees Pension Law, 1996 (Proclamation No. 21 of 1996) states, inter alia, that a member shall have the right to retire on pension and shall be so retired on reaching the age determined by the law governing his or her employment. Section 52 of the Defence Act, 2002 (Act 42 of 2002) makes provision for members to be appointed and utilised in the Regular Force from the age of 18 to 65 years of age. In terms of Regulation 21 of Chapter III of the General Regulations for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the Reserve an officer serving in the Permanent Force shall have the right to retire on pension and shall be so retired, on the date when he or she attains the age of 60 years. Regulation 22 of Chapter III also states that the maximum age limit for temporary service in the Permanent Force shall be 65 years. The incumbent Surgeon-General (SG) of the SA Military Health Services (SAMHS) reached the age of 60 on 20 October 2016.

(b) The following are the reasons and motivation for allowing his continued service beyond the official exit age:

i. To ensure continuous effective strategic direction and management to the SAMHS (SANDF).

ii. To ensure the effective management of medical and health services to the Department of Defence (SANDF).

iii. To retain specialist skills, especially where there is a shortage of skilled members in the Senior Management System, such as Medical Officers and Special Forces Operators.

iv. To ensure the retention of experienced members to mentor young and inexperienced members.

(2) The SG will retire on 31 October 2021.

(3) The process for the appointment of the next surgeon-general has been finalised and the next SG will assume duty with effect from 01 November 2021.

Source file