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11 August 2021 - NW1401

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

(1)With regard to the annual budget allocation challenges experienced by the Department of Defence, what progress has been made regarding the engagements of the National Treasury and proposed High-level Inter-Ministerial Team with the President, Mr M C Ramaphosa; (2) whether Cabinet has decided on how the (a) budget deficits and (b) challenges regarding the priorities of defence will be addressed; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (i) what are the relevant details and (ii) how will the challenges be dealt with in compliance with the provisions of sections 200 up to and including 203 of the Constitution of the Republic, 1996?

Reply:

Engagements on the budget deficit are ongoing and at present there are no new developments to report in this regard.

10 August 2021 - NW1400

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

(1)With regard to her announcement that a Ministerial Committee of Investigation into the illegal transportation and storage of the Cuban drug, Hebron Alfa 2b Interferon, by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will be appointed, (a) what are the reasons that (i) the appointment of the specified committee was not announced at the end of January 2021 according to her scheduled media briefing for the purpose and (ii) subsequent to the postponement, the appointment was not yet announced and implemented on 25 February 2021, (b) on what date will their appointment be announced, (c) what are the time frames for the (i) final report, (ii) details of the terms of reference and (iii) allocated budget; (2) who are the three members of the specified committee and what are the reasons for their selection; (3) what are the reasons that they are being vetted by the Department of State Security, given that the matter is an SANDF matter and that the outcome will be in the national interest and discipline of the SANDF; (4) will she confirm that the work of the investigation committee will be transparent with regular progress reports to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1)(a)(i) and (ii) Non-availability of members who agreed to serve on the Task Team for various reasons relating to health, other commitments etc led to a further search for members to serve on the Task Team.

(b) The appointment was announced once members were appointed on 1 March 2021.

(c) (i) The Task Team is expected to finalise their report into all matters relating to their mandate within 6 months as of 1 March 2021.

(c) (ii) The task team is to investigate the allegations contained in 3 separate submissions: (i) An anonymous report of October 2019 alleging fraud, corruption and misuse of State funds in the Department of Defence (DoD), particularly in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF); (2) A submission made to the State Capture Commission by Maj Gen (ret) Sizani and Maj Gen B Ngcobo which similarly contained serious allegations of alleged criminal activity in the environment of the Defence Intelligence Division; and (3) A memorandum from Maj Gen L. Ford outlining concerns regarding some procurement irregularities by the SANDF in the purchasing of Interferon-B from the Republic of Cuba when Coronavirus reached our shores in March 2020.

(c)(iii) Members of the Task Team not in the employ of the State are remunerated hourly rates as prescribed by National Treasury for Commissions / Committees of this nature and must submit time sheets to claims such on a monthly basis.

(2) Members of the Task Team were selected based on their knowledge and understanding of Government and especially the security cluster. The Chairperson is Mr Zola Ngcakani and the other two members are Dr RC Lubisi and Mr B Masethla.

(3) As can be noted from their Terms of Reference they will be investigating the environment of Defence Intelligence and as such it is best suited that they be vetted by another security agency.

(4) The final report will be shared with the relevant oversight structures in a manner that will be dictated by the nature of the findings and recommendations given that some of it relates to the environment of Defence Intelligence, which may be better shared with the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.

 

10 August 2021 - NW1561

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

With regard to the feedback on the Budget Review and Recommendation Report to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on 5 May 2021, where it was reported that several departments still owe her department for services rendered (details furnished), (a) what is the total amount owed by each specified department, (b) for what period has the debt been outstanding in each case, (c) what are the details of the payment arrangements that were agreed to with each department and (d) by what date will the outstanding accounts be settled in full?

Reply:

The response is detailed in the table below.

1. Department of Correctional Services – Veterinary Services

2. Department of Health (North West Province) – Medical assistance during strikes

3. Department of Health (Kalafong Hospital) – Transfer of patients

4. Department of Health (Steve Biko Academic Hospital) – Transfer of patients

5. Department of Military Veterans – Medical assistance

6. Department of Public Works and Infrastructure – Building of bridges

7. National Treasury – Medical treatment for military pension officers

8. South African Police Services - Veterinary Services

With regard to the feedback on the Budget Review and Recommendation Report to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on 5 May 2021, where it was reported that several departments still owe her department for services rendered (details furnished), (a) what is the total amount owed by each specified department, (b) for what period has the debt been outstanding in each case, (c) what are the details of the payment arrangements that were agreed to with each department and (d) by what date will the outstanding accounts be settled in full? NW1766E

9. South African Revenue Services - Veterinary Services

Whether she will please confirm what

(a) is the total amount owed by each department;

(b) is the total period for which the debt has been outstanding;

(c) payment arrangements were agreed to with each department and

(d) confirm when these outstanding accounts will be settled in full?

OUTSTANDING AMOUNTS FOR SERVICES RENDERED TO DEPARTMENTS

S/N

Department Name

Type

Number of cases

(a) the total amount owed by each department

(b) the total period for which the debt has been outstanding

(c) payment arrangements agreed to with each department

(d) confirm when these outstanding accounts will be settled in full

1

Correctional Services

Veterinary Services

22

R35 093,23

Ongoing service and most outstanding amounts are in the current financial year less than one year.

Payments will be made on a regular bases

Probably in the current financial year as payments are received regularly

2

Dept Health: NW

Medical Assistance During Strike

1

R12 275 216

Two to three years

In the year the service was provided however the institution does not keep to its promise. Continuous follow up is being made.

Dept. of Health / North West indicates that there was no contract in place, hence payment cannot be made until there is a contract. Engagements between the two departments are ongoing to settle the amount owing.

3

Kalafong Hospital: Gauteng

Patient Transferred

20

R264 108,37

More than three years

In the year the service was provided however the institution did not keep to its promise. Continuous follow up is being made.

Probably in the current financial year, since engagements with the relevant department are in process for settlement of the account.

4

Steve Biko Academic Hospital: Gauteng

Patient Transferred

17

R50 036,86

More than three years

In the year the service was provided how ever the institution did not keep to its promise. Continues follow up is being made.

Probably in the current financial year, since engagements are in process for settlement of the account.

5

Military Veterans

Medical Assistance

4 671

R99 033 939,62

Ongoing service and 58% of the amount outstanding is between 1 year to 3 years.

In the year the service was provided however the institution has had challenges making payments. Continous engagements are ongoing.

The relevant department reconciles with the DOD on a quarterly basis. In most years the debts raised are greater than the payments received.

DMV has requested for some of the historic debts to be written off

6

Nat Dept Public Works

Operations: Building Of Bridges

2

R12 568 571,08

One debt is less than one year and the other more than three years.

In the year the service was provided however the institution does not keep to its promise. Continues follow up is being made.

Probably in the current financial year, since engagements with the relevant department are in process for settlement of the account.

7

National Treasury

Medical Treatment For Military Pension Officers

1 292

R6 724 103,65

Ongoing service and most outstanding amounts are more than three years.

In the year service was provided. However, in the financial year 21/22 National Treasury has requested to review long outstanding claims for settlement.

Probably in the current financial year, since engagements with the relevant department are in process for settlement of the accounts.

8

SAPS

Veterinary Services

6

R39 802,81

Ongoing service and most outstanding amount is in the current financial year less than one year.

Payments will be made on a regular bases

Probably in the current financial year as payments are received regularly

9

SARS Veterinary Service

Veterinary Services

1

R3 255,74

Two to three years

In the year the service was provided however the institution does not keep to its promise. Continues follow up is being made.

Probably in the current financial year, since engagements with the relevant department are in process for settlement of the account.

       

R130 994 127,36

     

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?

Reply:

(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.

10 August 2021 - NW1533

Profile picture: Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN

Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether, following the handing over of the report to her after the appointment of the Ministerial Task Team in 2019, which investigated the reporting of sexual harassment and sexual abuse cases in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), there has been communication by her department with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to redress the injustices in situations where children were born out of instances of sexual misconduct in foreign countries; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether her department has taken any measures to redress injustices meted out against victims of misconduct by the SANDF that was identified since the beginning of the lockdown on 26 March 2020; if not, why not; if so, (3) whether she will furnish Inkosi R N Cebekhulu with a detailed report on such measures to show her department’s censure of misconduct and the overall legitimacy of the Republic’s protective body; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details

Reply:

(1) Liaison between the Department of Defence (DOD) and other role players, including the Department of International Relations and Cooperation took place in this regard to streamline diplomatic and protocol procedures that will allow the Department to proceed with measures to hold the individuals accountable and to remedy the situation. Diplomatic processes are considered according to the Memorandum of Agreement to ensure that the Department’s actions are embodied thereon and are binding to all the affected parties involved.

(2) Yes,

(3) I have asked the CSANDF to provide same.

07 July 2021 - NW1471

Profile picture: Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI

Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether her department and/or the SA National Defence Force has concluded any work exchange and/or employment agreements with any entity of the Republic of Cuba from the 2010-11 financial year up to the 2020-21 financial year; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) total number of Cuban nationals (i) have been employed in each of the specified financial years and/or (ii) are due to be employed in the 2021-23 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period, (b) are the details of the work that each of the specified Cuban nationals was and/or will be employed to perform, (c) are the details of the specific skills sets that each of the specified Cuban nationals possessed and/or will possess that South African nationals did or will not possess and (d) are the details of the total cost of employing each of the specified Cuban nationals in each case; (2) whether her department and/or the SA National Defence Force took any steps to ensure that the specific skills set of the specified Cuban nationals were and/or will not be available in the Republic amongst South African citizens; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the (a) steps taken and (b) outcomes of the steps taken in this regard?

Reply:

1. (a)(i) Yes, Project THUSANO commenced in February 2015. Since then the under-mentioned number of Cuban members have worked in South Africa as per the specified Financial Year (FY) indicated:

FY

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

Total Number

117

133

166

179

172

  • An increase in the maintenance and repair teams was approved during the FY2017/18, and a project on simulators also commenced during this period.
  • A downscale process started in FY2019/20 and the number of artisans and interpreters was reduced. However, the Military Medical Brigade arrived in April 2020, consisting of 27 members.

(ii) The nationals that are due to be employed in the 2021 – 23 Medium Term Expenditure Framework are indicated below:

FY

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Total Number of Specialists

172

145

134

  • The Military Medical Team will finish in October 2021.
  • The downscale process will commence in FY2022/23.

(b) The Cuban members have worked in the under-mentioned areas, and will continue performing in these areas going forward.

  • Maintenance and repair of A, B, C and D-vehicles for all the Services and Divisions.
  • Preservation of A and B-vehicles for the SA Army and SA Military Health Services (SAMHS).
  • Deactivation of B-vehicles for the SA Army and SAMHS.
  • Stocktaking, organization and management of warehouses in the SA Army.
  • Maintenance and repair of components and spare parts for the vehicles of the different Services and Divisions.
  • Maintenance and repair of transport airplanes and helicopters for the SA Air Force.
  • Maintenance, repair and manufacturing of test benches for the SA Air Force.
  • Maintenance and repair of avionics components for the SA Air Force.
  • Maintenance and repair of medical equipment for SAMHS.
  • Delivery of medical services to assist SAMHS in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Research, development, manufacturing and installation of combat driving and shooting simulators and automated shooting ranges.

(c) The Cuban specialists are transferring the under-mentioned skills:

  • A-type maintenance to B, C and D-vehicles.
  • B-type maintenance to B, C and D-vehicles.
  • C-type maintenance to B, C and D-vehicles.
  • Light repair to B, C and D-vehicles.
  • Major repair to B, C and D-vehicles.
  • Maintenance to mechanical and electrical components of A-vehicles.
  • Light repair to A-vehicles.
  • Major repair to A-vehicles.
  • Deactivation of B-vehicles.
  • Organization and management of workshops.
  • Panel beating, welding and spray-painting of A, B, C and D-vehicles.
  • Auto electrician skills.
  • Repair of different kinds of components.
  • Repair, manufacture and exploitation of test benches.
  • Stocktaking and warehouses organization and management.
  • Operation maintenance and repair of avionics components, such as navigation systems, radio stations, magnetic indicators and power amplifiers.
  • Joint work with the South African members in servicing the Oryx helicopters, as well as C-47 TP and PC7 Astra MKII aircrafts.
  • Operation, maintenance and repair of test benches.
  • Calibrating and testing components.
  • Maintenance and repair of different medical equipment.
  • Simulators designing and development.
  • Simulators validation.
  • Simulators operation.
  • Simulators manufacturing and installing.
  • Methodologies for training personnel with the use of simulators.
  • Maintenance and repair of simulators.
  • Simulators technologies, hardware and software.
  • Electronic basics.
  • Combat shooting training with the combined use of simulators and automated shooting ranges.

(d) The Logistics Division does not know the cost of employing the Cuban members. The figures as indicated in the table below indicate the payment of the contract and administration per FY.

Year

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021

 

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

Total Cost

6,125,800

143,952,671

170,662,596

274,393,655

219,595,670

252,386,010

9,555,856

2. In South Africa, the companies only provided PME maintenance and repair services for the SANDF, but hiring those companies have the following disadvantages:

  • The services are too expensive.
  • The maintenance and repairs provided by these companies take a very long time.
  • The quality of the maintenance and repairs is not good.

As a consequence, the SANDF pays a lot of money, the vehicles spend a long time receiving the maintenance and repair, and when they are delivered back to the SANDF, these vehicles have to be returned to the companies as they break down very quickly. Taking into account the budgetary constraints faced by the SANDF, and the amount and complexity of the missions it has to fulfil, the SANDF requires a faster, cheaper and more reliable maintenance and repair service for the Prime Mission Equipment (PME). For this reason, the SANDF must build its own capabilities for maintaining and improving the serviceability rate of the PME, which is critical for having a better combat readiness. The companies are not willing to repair the vehicles for a lower price, nor to transfer the skills for doing it. The Cuban members, on the other hand, are providing the services in the required way, and are transferring their skills to the SANDF members at the same time. For example, at the Army Support Base (ASB) Western Cape, at the beginning of the Project, the vehicle serviceability was at 35%. At the current moment the ASB’s serviceability stands at 84%. Most of the unserviceable vehicles at the ASB are not repaired yet due to the lack of funds for procuring spares and material panel beating and painting.

07 July 2021 - NW1052

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

(1)What (a) was the direct and indirect total costs in each year over the past five years relating to Cuban staff employed and/or contracted for Operation Thusano (details furnished) and (b) are the costs related to providing security and/or protection services to Cuban staff; (2) what was the total number of (a) vehicles that were stripped of parts during the specified period and (b) serviceable vehicles that were reassembled and returned for military work; (3) (a) what is the value of the spare parts reintroduced into the vehicle maintenance system, (b) to which (i) military bases and (ii) maintenance depots were the spare parts supplied and (c) what is the cost benefit analysis of the stripped spare parts; (4) whether she has considered selling any of the unused vehicles at Wallmansthal military base, among others, for scrap metal; if so, what would the total monetary value be; (5) what is the (a) real productivity at Wallmansthal military base, seeing that electricity supply is extremely poor and blackouts occur regularly and (b) total cost of running generators at Wallmansthal with regular electricity blackouts?

Reply:

1. (a) The below figures indicate the payment according to the contract and administration per Financial Year

Year

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total Cost

6,125,800

143,952,671

170,662,596

274,393,655

219,595,670

252,386,010

9,,555,856

(b) The current amount spent over six years on VIP protectors for S & T, accommodation and food is R 2, 683,239.46.

2. (a) A total number of sixty-seven (67) vehicles have been dismantled over the past five years.

(b) Eleven-thousand-six-hundred-and-twenty-three (11 623) vehicles have been repaired.

3. (a) This is a lengthy process and requires more time to effectively determine the value of the re- introduced spares. So far twelve-thousand-six-hundred-and-ninety-one (12 691) spare parts have been re-introduced into the vehicle maintenance system over the period of five years. Spare parts such as starter motors, alternators, brake boosters, differentials and engines are received and repaired, and then returned to the vehicles as part of the repair process. The spare parts from dismantled vehicles are also serviced and taken to the depot. The cost of the spare parts is not yet determined, as the internal capability within the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is utilised.

(b) (i) and (ii) The spare parts are supplied to the under-mentioned entities for their repair and return to the vehicles:

  1. DOD Mobilisation Centre, Bloemfontein.
  2. Regional Workshop Gauteng.
  3. 102 Field Workshop, Potchfestroom.
  4. 101 Field Workshop, Postmasburg.
  5. 35 Engineering Support Regiment, Springs.
  6. Army Support Base, Kimberly.
  7. Army Support Base, Cape Town.
  8. Air Defence Artillery School, Ermelo.

(c) The cost of the spare parts repair process has not been determined, as the internal capability within the SANDF is utilised to verify in the system the value of the parts when they are procured, and the current status of the re-introduced parts.

4. No military vehicle has been sold as scrap metal, as the approval for this process to proceed must first be finalised.

5. (a) Wahlmansthal is continuing with maintenance and repairs in their area. Tasks also include the preservation of vehicles. A total of one-hundred-and ninety (190) vehicles have been preserved at Wahlmansthal. The members also dismantled fifteen (15) vehicles.

(b) When there are severe electricity blackouts, a total amount of 4 450 litres of diesel is consumed weekly due to the electricity blackouts at a cost of R8 455.00. The monthly consumption is R33 820. 00. The Department of Defence is engaging ESKOM to upgrade the power supply. ESKOM has commenced with the feasibility study to determine the scope of work and costs for the upgrades.

07 July 2021 - NW1261

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

With reference to Project Thusano which guides the overall agreements with the Cuban government, military and any other Cuba-related party, what (a) are the full details of the skills transfers that the Cubans have completed, with specific reference to the (i) number of persons and (ii) official qualifications achieved as outcomes from the project, (b) number of newly skilled South Africans have been transferred back to their respective units in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and (c) is the impact of costs to her department as a result of the dependence on Cubans to service and maintain SANDF vehicles and equipment?

Reply:

a) The details of the skills transfers that the Cubans completed are as indicated in the paragraphs below.

(i) One-thousand-three-hundred-and-eighty-six (1 386) SANDF members formed part of the Project THUSANO skills transfer.

(ii) Three-hundred-and-nineteen (319) SANDF members received official qualifications as an outcome of the project.

b) Four-hundred-and-eighty-three (483) SANDF members are currently working in their respective units.

c) Due to a bilateral agreement between Cuba and South Africa, there are no costs involved as a result of the dependency on the Cubans to service and maintain SANDF vehicles and equipment.

07 July 2021 - NW1399

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

What (a) are the details of the protection services that are provided to the Cuban representatives in the Republic and (b) have been the costs related to the specified protection services in the past five years, with regard to Project Thusano and the agreement between the Government and/or her department as the lead department and the Cuban government and Cuban entities?

Reply:

a) Twenty-one (21) members form part of the protection service to the Cuban representatives. These members’ tasks include:

(i) Reconnaissance, which is executed each time the Cubans have to deploy or visit a unit/entity.

(ii) En-route protection, during movement.

(iii) Protection at accommodation sites.

b) The current amount spent over six years on VIP Protectors; on S&T, accommodation and food; is R 2, 683 239.46.

02 July 2021 - NW1229

Profile picture: Komane, Ms RN

Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Whether her department has executed the order which was handed against it in favour of the community of Marieville in Ekurhuleni; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The SANDF is fully adhering to the court order of Judge Davis dated 06 April 2021. The SANDF does not have any plan to evict anyone without any court order and its court application process for eviction(s) is under way. The members of Happiness Village will stay there until the eviction application by the SANDF has been adjudicated upon and legally authorised.

None of the remaining housing structures in Happiness Village will be demolished by the SANDF. In ensuring that this is implemented, a briefing was given to all uniformed members in Marievale Military Base to the effect that no member of the SANDF was allowed and will never be allowed to assault, harass or threaten any member or occupant of Happiness Village and/or demolish their houses. Furthermore, a copy of the court order was distributed to all members in Marievale Military Base.

The Chief of the SA Army has also promulgated clear instructions requiring full compliance to the court order. Weekly feedback about routine activities and adherence to the court order is provided to the relevant headquarters.

15 June 2021 - NW1662

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Whether, with reference to the qualifications of a certain person (name and details furnished), more specifically the insignias the specified person was wearing on the left and right chest when the Commander-in-Chief announced the person’s new appointment in the SA National Defence Force, the person completed the academic and practical training in order to wear the insignias of a Special Forces operator, as well as a qualified paratrooper; if not, (a) what are the reasons that the person wore the two insignias, (b) what qualified the person to wear it on the left and right chest and (c) who awarded the person the right to wear the insignias; if so, (i) on what dates did the person complete the required training, (ii) what total number of Special Forces operations did the person take part in and (iii) what total number of parachute jumps has the person completed?

Reply:

1. (a) and (b)The member completed similar courses in Cuba in 1983.

(c) and (i)On a parade officiated by erstwhile C J Ops on 24 March 2006, the member was awarded honorary Special Force (SpecF) insignia; and again on a parade hosted by then Officer Commanding 44 Parachute Regiment on 05 September 2016, he was awarded honorary Dispatcher wings.

(ii) SpecF operations is a top secret matter.

(iii) Only operators currently executing SpecF tasks are required to maintain a jump log, it is not applicable to the member being enquired on.

14 June 2021 - NW1262

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

(1)What are the (a) reasons that Project Thusano was extended to other operational matters in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), like the inclusion of the Cuban techniques into basic infantry training and (b) benefits for the SANDF from (i) a South African and (ii) an African security perspective; (2) whether the specified project was first analysed and compared to the existing SANDF and best international techniques; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) (a) what are the costs related to the extension of the project and (b) how is this justified given the economic pressures and budget cuts in the SANDF?

Reply:

(1) (a) Project THUSANO has not been extended to operational matters in the SANDF, only the basic maintenance and utilisation at technical level information was exchanged with SANDF members in order to ensure proper servicing of equipment developed together with the Cubans as part of skills transfer.

(1) (b) (i) and (ii) Project THUSANO activities are beneficial to the SANDF as its internal capability is being built. The SANDF dependency on industry for maintenance and repair will be reduced. The cost of training will be drastically reduced, including improving shooting capability in simulation of different types of combat arenas which may be encountered, thereby, reducing the need for physical travel of trainees and the concomitant costs.

(2) Project THUSANO was analysed and compared with SANDF and best international techniques and proved to be the cheapest and cost-effective way of reducing costs of maintenance and repair, as well as acquiring skills through imparting technical knowledge to SA Army artisans.

(3) (a) According to Contract TI 17-001 South Africa Annexure 6 signed in October 2018, the total cost is US$ 5,975,545.00 (ZAR 86,645,402.50) based on a rand-dollar exchange rate of R14,50:US$1.

(3) (b) Economic pressures and budget reductions require innovative and creative approaches as the funds to outsource maintenance and repair are limited. Building internal capability is one of the initiatives intended to manage the limited budget and/or budgetary constraints. The skills could have been acquired very expensive if these members were sent to private institution for training and skills development.

14 June 2021 - NW1263

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

(1)Whether she will furnish Mr S J F Marais with the details of the use of the Automated Shooting Range System used by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF); if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; 2) whether the use of the Automated Shooting Range System benefits the SANDF and the protection of the land, sea and air borders; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether any comparable system from an SA Defence Industry entity was considered; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) whether a tender was advertised for the procurement of the system; if not, why not; if so, what are the costs involved for the (a) SANDF and (b) the Department of Defence?

Reply:

(1) Details requested entail the SANDF’s tactical employment of strategic assets, any information so required may only be disclosed in a closed session.

(2) The Automated Shooting Range (ASR) system will benefit the SANDF as it is intended to improve its members’ shooting skills and combat effectiveness with limited ammunition and the simulation of different combat scenarios in the midst of the dwindling budget allocation.

(3) The ASR was specifically designed for the SANDF; the Department is not aware of a similar capability within the local defence industry.

(4) The system was benchmarked and requested at a bi-lateral (Cuba/RSA) level, thereby no tender process was followed.

10 June 2021 - NW1661

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

(1)(a) What is the (i) normal age when members of the Department of Defence (DoD) and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) are obliged to go on pension and (ii) policy of the DoD and SANDF with regard to the obligated retirement age of permanent force members and (b) if the age is still 60 years, what would be the reasons and motivations for certain persons not retiring at the age of 60; (2) what were the reasons (a) that the employment term and contract of a certain person (name and details furnished) was extended when the specified person turned 60 and (b) for a further extension of the person’s employment contract to a certain position (details furnished) in the SANDF, from which the person will only retire at the age of 66?

Reply:

(1)(a)(i)(ii) 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 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. In terms of the Regulation 29 of the Regulations for the Reserve Force, the date of retirement of a Reserve Force member may be extended to the date on which he or she attains the age of 75 years.

(b) The following are the reasons and motivations for certain persons not retiring at the age of 60:

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

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

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 Defence Act makes provision for members to be appointed and utilised in the Regular Force from the age of 18 to 65 years, while the Regulations for the Reserve Force makes provision for the extension of the retirement of a Reserve Force member from 65 to 75 years.

20 April 2021 - NW418

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Mafanya, Mr WTI to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Whether she has found the operations of the Advisory Council on Military Veterans in her department to be sound; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the reasons that she has neglected to respond to the previous advisory council and (b) steps will she take to ensure that the new advisory council’s recommendations are implemented?

Reply:

The question is vague as it is not clear when it is alleged that I “neglected to respond to the previous Advisory Council”.  I issued a Ministerial Directive in 2019 on the interpretation and application of the mandate of the Advisory Council with specific reference to, amongst others, this provisions in the Act, and it is trusted that once a new Council is appointed that  they will operate within these parameters. 

 

 

19 April 2021 - NW477

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Hill-Lewis, Mr GG to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

With reference to the reply of the President, Mr M C Ramaphosa, to question 2256 on 5 January 2021, (a) what was the total cost of the charter, (b) who were the private individuals who requested the SA National Defence Force (SANDF ) to transport their donations of personal protective equipment to Cuba, (c) under what policy and/or regulations was this private transport approved, (d) how did the private individuals know about the charter when this charter was not publicly announced and (e) how does the SANDF explain not having any details about the presence of a certain person (name furnished) on an SANDF charter flight?

Reply:

The former South African Ambassador to Cuba His Excellency Mr Pitso coordinated the donation and requested the SANDF to take the collected items to Cuba since there was a chartered flight to Cuba which was taking personal artefact for students in Cuba and fetching those that has completed their studies. This was under special circumstances when borders were closed in many countries.

The former Ambassador is in regular contact with the Cuban Mission in South Africa, hence he got to know about the flight to Cuba by the SANDF for their own members as well as those of the NDoH. The arrangement was between the Embassy of Cuba and the donor.

Private organisations and individuals would normally not have this service available to them.

15 April 2021 - NW820

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

(1)Whether, with reference to the report of the joint oversight visit of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans to Kinshasa and Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 25 to 29 March 2018, consideration was given to the concerns raised by the soldiers of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) as reported by the Portfolio Committee regarding the very poor quality of (a) combat boots and (b) uniforms; if not, why not; if so, what measures were taken to significantly improve the quality and suitability of both combat boots and uniforms; (2) whether (a) she, (b) her department and (c) a certain company (name furnished) have considered the recommendations for local procurement of certain items within the regulations of the Mission Area, based on the direct feedback on the ground in the DRC; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the recommendations that have been implemented?

Reply:

(1) (a) and (b)

Yes consideration was given to concerns raised not only by the Portfolio Committee but previously by the Minister and the Defence Force Service Commission.

Combat Boots

The SA Army engaged the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on the improvement projects of uniform and combat boots. The boot project of Special Forces was revived and improved as it was found to be suited for use by the SA Army. Development of the proposed boot for the SA Army with wearer trials of the new combat boot commenced on 01 December 2020.

The new boot roll-out will commence from 01 July 2021 to all SA Army members within the SANDF with priority given to operationally deployed Units and Individuals, replacing the current combat boot. This roll-out is pending the availability of funding to support and implement this project.

(1) (b): Camouflage Uniform

The improvement of the textile used for the cut, manufacture and trim of camouflage uniform is also being done in collaboration with the CSIR.

The first concept uniform designs will be presented to the SA Army Council by 30 March 2021 for approval.

Wearer trials for the new uniform design will commence from end June 2021 and a phased full roll-out is scheduled from December 2021 pending the availability of funding for this project.

A well-deserved funding injection of the budgetary allocation to the SA Army will aid in addressing the replacement of the current combat dress system with the quality available within the market through collaboration with the CSIR.

15 April 2021 - NW483

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

(1)With reference to the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans on 8 July 2020, wherein it was revealed that the Department of Defence paid costs of R8,000,000 and R22,000,000 related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the flights and accommodation of Cuban health specialists, why was it required of her department to pay such costs while it was reported that the Department of Health and the respective beneficiary provinces will carry the costs related to the Cuban health specialists; (2) whether her department has made any efforts to recover the costs from the (a) Department of International Relations and Cooperation and (b) Department of Health; if not, why not; if so, what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

1. The Commander in Chief requested medical support from the Republic of Cuba to assist in curving the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. In response to the Commander in Chief’s request, the Cuban Government offered a team that consisted of a Medical Health Care Brigade. The Department of Defence (DOD) was allocated with military health care professionals. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) chattered an aircraft to transport the Cuban medical practitioners, who arrived in South Africa on 27 April 2020.

In adherence to the World Health Organisation COVID-19 regulations, the DOD established a quarantine centre for personnel entering the borders of the Republic of South Africa (RSA). The Cuban Medical Health Brigade was quarantined at the identified centre. On completion of the quarantine, there was a delay in securing accommodation in the different Provinces due to the Level 5 national lockdown.

Consequently both military and the civilian Medical Health Brigade from Cuba were transported in the SANDF chattered aircraft at the cost of R8, 227, 060. 00, and on arrival they were accommodated and quarantined at the identified quarantine centre at the cost of R22, 000, 000.

2. The DOD chattered an aircraft to transport the Cuban Medical Brigade in order to assist with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic within the SANDF. Therefore with the pandemic having affected the whole country, the department carried the cost. In the interest of the national objective to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOD paid for accommodation, chattering and quarantine.

13 April 2021 - NW658

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

(1)With reference to the burglary and theft of weapons at the TEK Base in Thaba Tswane, which was reported in December 2019, what is the total number of non-SA National Defence Force staff members who were charged; (2) whether the specified members have appeared in a court of law; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. Mr Mooketsi an employee of the Department of Education, Gauteng who was out on bail for an unrelated armed robbery case was arrested  in Springs in possession of an R4 Assault Rifle and 3 x empty R4 magazines. 

2. Mr Mooketsi was charged and appeared at the Springs Magistrate Court on February and April 2020 respectively.  He was remanded in custody pending his next court appearance on 04 May 2020.  The case was then postponed to 20 August 2020 for trial.  The accused was found guilty and sentence to 6 years imprisonment.”

07 April 2021 - NW743

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Hill-Lewis, Mr GG to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether, with reference to the reply of the Minister of Finance to question 2201 on 22 October 2020, a certain political organisation (name furnished) has refunded any of the monies owed to the State for the irregular use of an SA Air Force aircraft to transport a delegation of the specified political organisation to Zimbabwe for talks with a political party in that country; if not, why not; if so, (a) what total amount has been refunded to date, (b) what amount is still outstanding and (c) by what date is it envisaged the amount will be refunded in full; (2) whether the specified amount is the (a) full and (b) final amount with which the specified political organisation will refund the State; if not, what action is the National Treasury taking to recover the full cost of the irregular flight; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

On 30 September 2020, payment to the Department of Defence was made in the amount of R105 545.46

07 April 2021 - NW657

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

(1)With reference to the burglary and theft of weapons at the TEK Base in Thaba Tswane, which was reported in December 2019, what (a) is the progress of the investigation, (b) charges were brought against the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) staff and (c) is the total number of SANDF staff who (i) were suspended, (ii) were charged, (iii) are still suspended but not charged, (iv) are still suspended and being paid their salaries and (v) were charged and have appeared in a court of law; (2) what are the details of the munitions (a) stolen and (b) recovered; (3) whether any stolen weapons were recovered; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) where and (b) on what date did the recovery occur?

Reply:

1. a. What is the progress of the investigation? The case is at Court of Senior Military Judge for trial.

b. What charges were brought against the SANDF Staff? Housebreaking and Theft and alternative charge of Negligent Loss of Firearms.

c. What is the total number of SANDF Staff who –

i.  were suspended? Fourteen (14) members.

ii. were charged? Fourteen (14) members.

iii. are still suspended but not charged? None.

iv. are still suspended and being paid their salaries? Six of the seven members that are still on suspension are receiving salary of which five members suspension are in process to be uplifted (As discussed with GOC SA Army Engineer Formation).

v. were charged and have appeared in a Court of Law? Fourteen (14) members.

2. What are the details of the munitions (a) stolen and (b) recovered? Eighteen (18) R4 Assault Rifles and three (3) 9mm Pistols ( 9mm Vector, 9mm Baretta and 9mm Star) were stolen of which eighteen (18) R4 Assault Rifles and two (2) 9mm Pistols (9mm Vector and 9mm Baretta) were recovered.

3. Whether any stolen weapons were recovered; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) where and (b) on what date did the recovery occur?

(i) Eighteen (18) R4 Assault Rifles and two (2) 9mm Pistols were recovered. The one 9mm Pistol that is still missing, was circulated.

(ii) On 08 February 2020 one 9mm Vector Pistol was recovered in Kwa-Thema and one R4 Assault Rifle was recovered in Springs. Thirteen R4 Assault Rifles and one 9mm Pistol were recovered in Daveyton on 09 February 2020. The last remaining four (4) R4 Assault Rifles were also recovered in Springs on 30 May 2020.

 

06 April 2021 - NW1013

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Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Whether she has been informed of the alleged ill-treatment of civilians by the SA National Defence Force members deployed to Mozambique; if not, why not; if so, what interventions has her department made?

Reply:

  1. The SANDF does not have members deployed to Mozambique.

31 March 2021 - NW929

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

What total number of (a) motorcycle-mounted infantry men are deployed along the borders of the Republic and (i) Zimbabwe, (ii) Mozambique and (iii) Lesotho, (b) men have been deployed, (c) men are still in service and (d) losses have been registered?

Reply:

The information required in this Parliamentary question relates to matters of

Border Safeguarding and are security sensitive.

The response to this question can be disclosed in a closed session of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and/or Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.

31 March 2021 - NW540

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Shelembe, Mr ML to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)(a) Whether any recommendations and/or advice on matters pertaining to the military veterans and their beneficiaries were submitted to her by the Advisory Council on Military Veterans in the past five years; if so, (2) whether those recommendations were implemented by her; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what amount was spent by members of the Advisory Council in the past five years that constitute their term of office?

Reply:

(1) Yes

(2) There are ongoing discussions on all aspects affecting military veterans and currently a task team is headed up by the Deputy President to attend to pressing matters affecting military veterans.

(3) R 4 852 145.00

31 March 2021 - NW822

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

(1)With reference to the modified Land Cruisers’ mobility packages that have been in service for three years as part of Operation Corona, (a) what number of these vehicles (i) were deployed and (ii) are still in use and (b) in what configuration are they in use (details furnished); (2) whether there have been any vehicle losses; if so, what (a) number and (b) were found to be the causes of the losses?

Reply:

The information required in this Parliamentary question relates to Operational matters that are security sensitive.

The response to this question can be disclosed in a closed session of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and/or Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.

31 March 2021 - NW930

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

(a) What total number of horseback-mounted infantry men from the SA Army Specialised Infantry Capability are deployed along the borders of the Republic and (i) Zimbabwe, (ii) Mozambique and (iii) Lesotho, (b) where are they deployed, (c) what number had initially been deployed and (d) what number of the soldiers are still in service?

Reply:

The information required in this Parliamentary question relates to matters of

Border Safeguarding and are security sensitive.

The response to this question can be disclosed in a closed session of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and/or Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.

31 March 2021 - NW931

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

(1)Whether, in view of the construction of the new hydrographic vessel known as Project Hotel nearing completion, and the first of the three inshore patrol vessels known as Project Biro also nearing delivery date, (a) her department, (b) the SA National Defence Force and/or (c) Armscor is/are in a position to make the payments to the two contracting firms in terms of the two contracts; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (i) from what source will the specified contractual payments be made and (ii) what are the further relevant details in this regard; (2) whether any funding will and/or has been transferred to Armscor for any prime mission equipment acquisition payments; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what are the penalties that will be imposed on her department in terms of the contracts if the agreed payments are not possible?

Reply:

1. (i) Sufficient budget allocation is available in the Special Defence Account to meet the contractual obligations related to Project HOTEL.

(ii) The department has however conducted a reprioritisation exercise to allocate the remaining SDA budget and to ensure that sufficient funding will be available to meet the contractual obligations on Project BIRO.

(iii) The Special Defence Account has been reduced by approximately R9 billion from 2018 after the Project BIRO contractual commitments were already finalised.

2. Funding is not transferred to Armscor for prime mission equipment acquisition. Armscor as the procurement agency for the department manages the procurement and contracting process on behalf of the department. The payment is then released directly to the supplier from the DOD account via the Reserve Bank. The payments are made after Armscor, as the contract manager, has confirmed the achievement of the specific milestone on the contract.

29 March 2021 - NW1009

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Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether the 6 South African Infantry Battalion training area in Grahamstown is fenced; if not, (a) why not and (b) on what date will it be fenced; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether she has been informed of disputes and/or complaints by the surrounding farmers regarding illegal hunting and stock theft allegedly by persons making use of the grounds of the training centre; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether the SA National Defence Force and/or any company contracted to her department patrols the perimeter of the training centre grounds; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1.(a) The eastern part of the fence of the 6 South African Infantry Battalion (6 SAI Bn) training area is absent as it has been stolen. (b) A Project was registered and sent out for tender via the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), but the process was placed on hold by DPWI due to insufficient funding.

2.The SA Army is aware of complaints by farmers adjacent to the 6 SAI Bn training area, centred on stock theft and illegal poaching, exacerbated by the absent perimeter fence, and has reported this to the SANDF. The Defence Works Formation is co-ordinating the restoration of the absent perimeter fence with the provincial Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, on behalf of the Department of Defence.

3. Static and Roving guards from 6 SAI Bn are in place and patrolling the vast training area.

24 March 2021 - NW288

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Hill-Lewis, Mr GG to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Whether her department has developed a plan for Erf 81, a site owned by the SA National Defence Force which is situated between Bo-Kaap and Tamboerskloof in the Cape Town City Bowl; if not, why not; if so, what is the (a) master plan for the specified site, (b) timeline for development and (c) plan of her department for the (i) long-standing informal structures and occupants on the north-east side of the site, (ii) occupants of the military buildings on the south-east side of the site and (iii) unlawful occupiers?

Reply:

The Erf in question is curently the subject of discussions at the Inter Ministerial Committee on Land Redistribution and the response will be provided once the discussions are finalised.

I

18 March 2021 - NW667

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Walters, Mr TC to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Whether (a) her department and/or (b) any entity reporting to her makes use of private security firms; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, in each case, what is the (i) name of each firm, (ii) purpose, (iii) value and (iv) duration of each specified contract?

Reply:

OFFICE OF THE MILITARY OMBUD

Ser No

Question

Response

 

a.

b.

1.

Mr T C R Walters (DA) to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans: Whether (a) her department and/or (b) any entity reporting to her makes use of private security firms; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, in each case, what is the (i) name of each firm, (ii) purpose, (iii) value and (iv) duration of each specified contract?

The Office of the Military Ombud is utilising a private security firm. The details wrt the question posed are as follows:

a) Name of Security Firm: Wenzile Phaphama Trading and Projects.

b) Purpose: A security assessment was done and according to the recommendations received it was essential for the Office to acquire the services of a physical security.

c) Value: R854,324,60

d) Duration of Contract. 01 September 2019 – 31 August 2021

ARMSCOR

Yes Armscor SOC Ltd and the R&D Facilities do make use of private security

For the Gauteng area (HQ building, Protechnik and Gerotek)

-Tyeks Security Services

- Guarding services

- R24 886 076.16

- 3 years from 1 October 2020

Westen Cape (IMT building)

- TDP Enterprise and Projects

- Guarding services

- R 3 125 021.76

- 3 years from 1 November 2020

Northen Cape (Alkanpan test range)

- Bomogale Enterprise (Pty) Ltd

- Guarding services

- R11 088 255.20

- 3 years from 1 October 2020

CASTLE CONTROL BOARD

The Castle Control Board (CCB) does not utilise private security.

DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY VETERANS

Curretly the Department of Military Veterans is not making use of the private security firm. The DMV Head Office is guarded by the SANDF Reserve Force members with effect from 01 April 2020 to date as a temporary measure. The landlords provide security services for Provincial Offices.

The department has commenced with the process of procuring the Private Security Service Provider for the DMV Head Office.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE

The Department of Defence is house within ARMSCOR and all security needs of the Department are taken care of by ARMSCOR.

DEFENCE FORCE SERVICE COMMISSION

The Defence Force Service Commission does not make use of a private security company.

16 March 2021 - NW821

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

Whether she will furnish Mr S J F Marais with the minutes of the meeting that she and her Zimbabwean counterpart, the Minister of Defence and War Veterans' Affairs, Ms Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, are reported to have held on 9 September 2020 in order to prepare for a Southern African Development Community troika meeting and the United Nations Security Council configuration of the Force Intervention Brigade; if not, why not; if so, on what date?

Reply:

In response to a request made by the Honourable Member under the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the Honourable Member was informed in 2020 that the meeting was a verbal meeting and no minutes were recorded.

16 March 2021 - NW419

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Shelembe, Mr ML to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

With reference to section 20(2) of the Military Veterans Act, Act 18 of 2011, which gives powers to the Military Veterans Appeals Board to confirm or set aside any decision taken by her department, and difficulties experienced by the Appeals Board in enforcing its findings when it differs with the decisions taken by her department, (a) what steps does she intend to take to enhance the independence and authority of the Appeals Board and (b) on what date was her last meeting with the Appeals Board to discuss progress on appeals

Reply:

(a) There is a process underway to review the provisions of the Act.

(b) The last meeting was held on 13th October 2020 with the Deputy Minister.

16 March 2021 - NW280

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

(1)What are the (a) reasons for and (b) relevant details of the Armscor expenses on fines and penalties of R690 000 during the 2019-20 financial year; (2) whether any investigations were done into this matter; if not, why not; if so, was anyone held accountable for the specified expenses?

Reply:

Armscor disclosed an amount of R585 000 relating to penalties in the 2019/20 Annual Report. Of this amount R 190 000 was relating to the 2019/20 financial period and R395 000 to the 2018/19 financial period.

These penalties were levied on Armscor’s facilities (Protechnik, Flamengro and Ergotech) in the execution of work for the Department of Defence where services/products were delivered late and were therefore penalised. Late deliveries occured due to a lack of of capacity due to resignations as well as technical dificulties experienced.

The services rendered were in relation to :

  • Non enginerring work on the upgrade of the SANDF’s mobile defence laboratory technology demonstrator ;
  • Increasing the range of current artillery systems in the SANDF ;
  • Development and testing of sample body armour sizes for SANDF males and females.

The reasons for all penalties levied were investigated and the appropriate corrective actions taken in terms of Armscor’s disciplinary processes.

16 March 2021 - NW279

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

(1)What are the reasons and justifications for the (a) Armscor expenses on consultants and (b) professional fees of R44 296 000 during the 2019-20 financial year; (2) whether a certain company (name furnished) was one of the beneficiaries of business; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what total amount did the specified company receive?

Reply:

1. For the 2019/2020 financial year, Armscor incurred R44 296 000 for consultants and professional fees. The fees incurred were in relation operational expenditure for the following reasons:

  • Contractor services related to building maintanance (electric, pest weed and pollution), security services, infrastructure upgrade project (to upgrade facility to comply with DPWI requirements for the rental of facility on the behalf of the DOD), ICT related services (normal course of business services of equipment and ICT software), expertise for the implementation of integrated reporting and cleaning services
  • Expert services required for statutory audit , ie. valuation of properties, actuarial valuation of Armscor’s post retirement medical liability,
  • Facility accreditaitons, which are required for facilities to operate and generate revenue

2. Armscor last paid Fever Tree during the 2018/2019 financial year, and no payment was made to Fever Tree during the 2019/2020 financial year.

04 March 2021 - NW329

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Shelembe, Mr ML to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether the Advisory Council on Military Veterans submitted its Annual Report to the National Assembly during their term of five years in office as required in terms of section 10 of the Military Veterans Act, Act 18 of 2011; if not, what are the reasons that she allowed the noncompliance to continue until the Council’s term of office came to an end on 1 October 2020; if so, (2) whether she will furnish Mr M L Shelembe with copies of the specified Annual Reports; if not, why not; if so, on what date?

Reply:

1.  The Advisory Council did not submit its reports to me to enable tabling in the National Assembly.  I did engage on the matter and even issued a Ministerial Directive in 2019 on the interpretation and application of the mandate of the Advisory Council with specific reference to, amongst others, this provision in the Act.

2. It cannot be furnished as same has not been submitted to my Office.

04 March 2021 - NW263

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Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

What are the reasons for her department’s continued harassment of the residents of the Marievale Military Base in Ekurhuleni in Gauteng, despite the court ruling that found that her department’s insistence at evicting

Reply:

I am advised that the SANDF is not harassing anyone resident at the said Military Base.

04 March 2021 - NW306

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

(1)What are the consequence management procedures that are put in place to deal with incidents of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) deployees abusing their authority in the implementation of the regulations of the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19; (2) what measures are in place to ensure that the SANDF deployees are regularly updated with their COVID-19 health status given their mass deployment and the risks associated with their exposure to communities where civil interaction is inevitable; (3) what (a) number of SANDF deployees have been placed in self-quarantine following the announcement of the impending lockdown and (b) measures have been institutionalised to reintegrate the specified individuals back into the operations of the presidential assignment during the lockdown period; (4) what (a) number of recorded incidents are there of live ammunition being utilised by SANDF members during the lockdown period and (b) accountability mechanisms are in place to ensure that no unjustifiable incidents occurred during this period?

Reply:

1. All SANDF members, even while deployed, fall under the Military Disciplinary Code (MDC) which is a regulatory framework that provides for the application of justice to all members that contravene DOD regulations, policies, orders and instructions as well as for misconduct and ill-discipline in the conduct of their duties.

2. SANDF deployed members, when on or off duty, follow and apply the same laid down COVID-19 health protocols applicable to everyone (public) in the RSA (scanning, screening, testing, sanitizing, hand washing, social distancing). They are regularly provided with the necessary PPE’s required, regular information and awareness is conducted.

3. (a) No members of the SANDF, deployed during the lockdown period, were placed under self-quarantine, however, members follow and apply the same COVID-19 health protocols applicable to everyone (public) in the RSA wrt self-quarantine/isolation measures applicable for contact, exposure to virus infection situations or infection; to wit; re-testing and declaration of status before reintegration.

(b) On completion of the required quarantine/self-quarantine or mandatory isolation period the members return to their work activities.

4. (a) Since the commencement of lockdown (March 2020 to date) there were 4 incidents recorded.

(b) Members received continuous in-post training on the correct handling and usage of weapons as well as the Code of Conduct and the Rules of Conduct and Engagement (ROCE). Operational Law Training, which also includes the rules guiding the opening of fire (shooting) is conducted regularly during operational deployments

 

04 March 2021 - NW330

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Shelembe, Mr ML to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

What are the reasons that she failed to have the new Advisory Council on Military Veterans appointed by 1 October 2020?

Reply:

The Minister is in the process of filling 10 vacancies on the Advisory Council as prescribed by the Act.  There is currently no Association in place, those three vacancies will be filled as, and when an Association has been elected.

23 February 2021 - NW98

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

With reference to the previous chief executive officer of Armscor who resigned from service towards the end of 2018, what (a) were the reasons that a bonus was paid to him in the 2019-20 financial year given that he had left the employment before the end of the 2018-19 financial year and (b) were the reasons that an amount of R1,188,000 was paid to him?

Reply:

1. The previous Chief Executive Officer of Armscor’s last day of service was 30 April 2019.

2. The Board considered and approved payment of performance remuneration for the 2018/2019 financial year, at its sitting on 28 August 2019. This was after receiving the Auditors General’s report, which confirmed the satisfactory performance of Armscor against agreed objectives and goals.

3. Upon meeting the requirements of his performance contract, Armscor paid 20% of the total remuneration package, which was approved by the Board. The total taxable amount was R763 200-00 and R419 760.00 (after tax) was paid on 13 September 2019.

4. On termination of service on 30 April 2019 the previous Chief Executive Officer received his normal monthly salary plus the leave payment for accumulated vacation leave credit of 23,43 days. This is in accordance with the Armscor conditions of employment which reads as follows:

“When an employee leaves Armscor's service, he/she is entitled to convert his/her leave and long service leave into cash, calculated on total cost to Armscor on day of termination of service.”

The taxable amount for the accumulated leave days was R425 134.78 and R233 824.13 (after tax) was paid on 30 April 2019.

5. The previous Chief Executive Officer received no performance remuneration payment for the 2019/2020 financial year.

23 February 2021 - NW96

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

With reference to Project Thusano and the agreement between the South African Government and/or her department and the Cuban government and Cuban entities, what (a) are the details of the protection services that are provided to the Cuban representatives in the Republic and (b) have been the costs related to the specified protection services in the past five years?

Reply:

1. (a) The South African National Defence (SANDF) has the responsibility to provide security for any of its guests on the South African soil. This is based on diplomatic responsibilities by utilising our current inherent Protection Services for movement, protection and security of the Cubans during deployment.

(b) The VIP Protection Services comprises of members of the SANDF, and therefore the detachment of this Service to Project THUSANO does not involve additional cost either than what is already utilised as an inherent service within the Department of Defence.

23 December 2020 - NW68

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Bagraim, Mr M to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

What (a) type of performance and/or incentive bonuses exist in her department excluding the 13th cheque and (b) amount was budgeted for these performance and/or incentive bonuses in the (i) 2017-18, (ii) 2018-19 and (iii) 2019-20 financial years?

Reply:

a) The Public Service Regulations (PSR), 2016, provides for the Head of Department to establish a financial incentive scheme for employees or any category of those employees.

The Department of Defence pays a Performance Bonus in terms of its Performance Management and Development System (PMDS). The Performance Bonus is a financial reward granted to eligible officials in recognition of performance that is significantly above expectations provided that the official completes a continuous period of at least twelve months in his/her salary level on 31 March of a specific year.

(b) The amounts budgeted are indicated in the table below:

FY2017/18

FY2018/19

FY 2019/20

     

Budget Vote

Expenditure

Budget Vote

Expenditure

Budget Vote

Expenditure

R355,996,901

R191,601,890

R277,289,665

R200,571,892

R289,517,939

R224,545,442

14 December 2020 - NW2783

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(a) What is the current status of the Sensor Strategy of the Department of Defence, (b) by what date does she envisage the specified strategy to be completed, (c) what are the implementation timelines around the strategy and (d) which of the Republic’s borders will be prioritised in the implementation and/or roll-out of the strategy?

Reply:

1. The Sensor Strategy is completed and is in the process of final approval by higher authority.

2. The implementation timelines can be confirmed if and when the Sensor Implementation Plan is funded.

3. In terms of the threat analysis all borders and ports of entry are prioritised.

14 December 2020 - NW2169

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Groenewald, Dr PJ to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)What are the full names of the passengers who made use of a Falcon 900 airplane (VIP) from the SA National Defence Force on 8 September 2020 for a flight to Zimbabwe; (2) (a) which of the specified passengers on the specified flight was on an (i) official visit and (ii) unofficial visit, (b) in which capacity did the unofficial passengers act and (c) who gave the unofficial passengers authorisation to be on the flight; (3) what was the (a) official purpose of the visit to Zimbabwe and (b) cost of the return flight; (4) will she be prepared to make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

(1) Ms NN Mapisa-Nqakula, Ms LD Zulu, Ms NP Mokonyane, Mr E Godongwana, Mr A Magashule, Mr MD Legoete, Mr TS Yengeni, Ms NG Gqirana, Mr B Ngobese, Dr MM Chabedi, Dr SMB Makwela.

(2) (a)(i) Ms NN Mapisa-Nqakula, Ms LD Zulu, Ms NG Gqirana, Mr B Ngobese, Dr MM Chabedi and Dr SMB Makwela were on an official visit to Zimbabwe. (ii) and (b) The remainder of the passengers were not on an official Government visit but joined the flight at my invitation.

(3) (a) The Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Zimbabwe are both currently members of the SADC Troika. South Africa, as a troop contributing country to the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been seized over the last two months together with other SADC members and especially the Troika members with discussions on the way forward in regard to the continued existence and composition of the FIB in light of recent changes proposed by the UN. As countries neighbouring Mozambique we have also been engaged bi-laterally and through the meetings of the SADC Troika and SADC as a whole with the disturbing reports emanating from that country in relation to alleged insurgencies and terrorist activities. It is in the context of the above background that I contacted my counterpart, Ms Oppah Chamu Zvipange Muchinguri-Kashiri, the Minister of Defence and War Veterans in the Republic of Zimbabwe to request an official visit to allow us to conduct a bi-lateral meeting to focus on these matters at hand.

(b) The SAAF calculated the total cost of the flight as R232 200.00

(4) No.

14 December 2020 - NW2852

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Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)What total number of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse levelled against members of the SA National Defence Force have been (a) reported this year since 1 January 2020 and (b) finalised with (i) guilty verdicts and (ii) acquittals; (2) whether the findings of the Ministerial task team are completed; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, how instrumental has the sexual offences reporting hotline been in reporting cases of sexual misconduct? NW3676E

Reply:

(1)(a) A total number of forty eight (48) allegations of sexual misconduct cases were reported in the SANDF from the different Arms of Service since 01 January 2020.

(b)(i)(ii) Of the 48 cases, eight (8) cases have been finalised (five [5] guilty verdicts, one [1] acquittal and two [2] withdrawn). Forty (40) cases are still in progress, with four (4) awaiting court dates, four (4) referred to SAPS and thirty two (32) still under investigation.

(2) The report of the Ministerial Task Team (MTT) isis currently being printed and will be presented to the Minister shortly.The MTT mandate ends end of December 2020. 

19 November 2020 - NW2731

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)What is the (a) current status of her department’s Cyber Defence Strategy, (b) total amount that has been spent on developing the capacity of the specified strategy and (c) number of personnel that have been trained and/or hired to fulfil this capacity; (2) how will the funding constraints due to COVID-19 impact on the development of the capacity of her department’s Cyber Defence Strategy?

Reply:

1. (a) The Cyber Defence Strategy was approved by the Council of Defence.

(b) The Defence Intelligence presents bi-annually to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), which includes the funds spend and members trained towards the fulfilment

19 November 2020 - NW2729

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether the SA National Defence Force Intelligence Division met its targets related to vetting decisions for the (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19 and (c) 2019-20 financial years; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details of the figures in each financial year; (2) what was the number of personnel working in the vetting division in the (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19 and (c) 2019-20 financial years?

Reply:

1. The vetting target for the financial years as indicated was as follows:

Financial Year

Target

Achievement

2017/18

6500

4328

2018/19

7000

3584

2019/20

7500

7167

2. The Defence Intelligence presents bi-annually to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), which includes the personnel strength of both uniform and civilian members of the Division.

19 November 2020 - NW2730

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(a) What is the status of the turnaround strategy aimed at ensuring that the SA National Defence Force Intelligence Division achieves its targets in relation to vetting decisions and (b) what other measures has the division put in place to ensure that it achieves its targets in relation to vetting decisions?

Reply:

1. The Defence Intelligence, Directorate Vetting Strategy and Implementation Plan is being implemented, however, due to capacity challenges the previous vetting targets of FY2019/20 could not be achieved.

2. Defence Intelligence has managed to make progress to achieve the vetting targets which relates to:

a. The staffing of vacant post to capacitate Directorate Vetting.

b. The decentralisation of confidential clearances to the lowest level within the SANDF.

10 November 2020 - NW2344

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

(1)What are the details of the unmanned arial vehicles (UAVs), such as drones and radar, that have been utilised in border protection as part of Operation Corona as referred to in a meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts; (2) whether the specified UAVs are (a) the Denel Seekers supplied by Denel and/or (b) UAVs supplied by private companies; if not, what is the position in each case; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what number of UAVs are in use and/or in service at any one time?

Reply:

  1. Yes we do use UAVs but cannot disclose their type, as that would be compromising the security of this country.

10 November 2020 - NW2420

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Groenewald, Dr PJ to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether, with reference to her reply to question 1667 on 24 August 2020, the EX MAFADI training course is also offered at the Infantry School in Oudtshoorn; if so, what (a) is the reason that it is offered in Oudtshoorn and (b) does the curriculum of the specified course entail; (2) what is the connection between the EX MAFADI and other training courses (names and details furnished); (3) whether, given that she had declared EX MAFADI as a combat readiness training course, she will furnish the (a) directive, (b) instruction, (c) training plan, (d) support plan and (e) financing flan thereof; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) whether she will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. No, EX MAFADI is conducted at the Drakensberg mountain range,

(b) Practical exercise on how to provide legal support during internal and external operations, operations with other state departments, peace keeping operations, operations other than war and during war

2. EX MAFADI is the Field Exercise for the Joint Battle Handling Course (JBHC) for Military Law Practitioners and a Combat Readiness Exercise for the Defence Legal Service Division (DLSD).

3. The supporting documents will be made available to the members of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence as these are classified documents.

4. NO

23 October 2020 - NW2182

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Lees, Mr RA to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

What are the relevant details of all the deaths of persons while in custody and/or detention of the SA National Defence Force in the period between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020?

Reply:

There is NO person who died in custody and/ or detention of the SA National Defence Force in the period between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020.