Questions and Replies

Filter by year

20 April 2021 - NW418

Profile picture: Mafanya, Mr WTI

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

Profile picture: Hill-Lewis, Mr GG

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 - NW483

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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.

15 April 2021 - NW820

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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.

13 April 2021 - NW658

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Profile picture: Hill-Lewis, Mr GG

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

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Profile picture: Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN

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 - NW822

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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 - NW931

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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.

31 March 2021 - NW930

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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 - NW929

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Profile picture: Shelembe, Mr ML

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

29 March 2021 - NW1009

Profile picture: Steyn, Ms A

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

Profile picture: Hill-Lewis, Mr GG

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

Profile picture: Walters, Mr TC

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

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Profile picture: Shelembe, Mr ML

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

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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 - NW330

Profile picture: Shelembe, Mr ML

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.

04 March 2021 - NW263

Profile picture: Komane, Ms RN

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

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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 - NW329

Profile picture: Shelembe, Mr ML

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.

23 February 2021 - NW96

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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 February 2021 - NW98

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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 December 2020 - NW68

Profile picture: Bagraim, Mr M

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 - NW2169

Profile picture: Groenewald, Dr PJ

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 - NW2783

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

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 - NW2852

Profile picture: Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN

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

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

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

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

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

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

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

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Profile picture: Groenewald, Dr PJ

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

Profile picture: Lees, Mr RA

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.

20 October 2020 - NW1

Profile picture: Groenewald, Dr PJ

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

(1) What number of (a) firearms and (b) ammunition of each (i) type and (ii) calibre were (aa) stolen and (bb) lost or went missing in the South African National Defence Force (aaa) during the periods (aaaa) 1 April 2017 and 31 December 2019. (2) What number of the specified (a) firearms and (b) ammunition (i) were recovered and/or (i) found to be linked to crimes. (3) Whether any persons and/or officials have been prosecuted successfully for negligence and/or theft of firearms and ammunition in military possession; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case. (4) What measures has the department introduced to combat the theft and loss of firearms and ammunition in military possession.

Reply:

1. (1&2) (a)(i) (ii)(aa) (bb)(aaa)(aaaa) - 1 April 2017 until 31 December 2019

(a) Firearms

S/No

 

Number Stolen

Number Lost

Action taken

 

Type

Calibre

     
 

a

b

c

d

e

01

R4

5.56mm

47

None

Case still under investigation

02

R 5

5.56mm

10

None

Case still under investigation

03

Star

9mm

04

None

Case still under investigation

04

Z88

9mm

10

None

Case still under investigation

05

Sig Sauer

9mm

02

None

Case still under investigation

06

Baretta

9mm

05

None

Case still under investigation

07

Vector

9mm

01

None

Case still under investigation

08

Glock

9mm

01

None

Case still under investigation

b) Ammunition

S/No

Ammunition

Type

Calibre

Stolen

Lost

Action taken

 

a

b

c

e

f

g

01

Small calibre ammunition

R4/R5

5.56mm

7618

None

Case still under investigation

02

Small calibre ammunition

9mm

9mm

07

None

Case still under investigation

03

Small calibre ammunition

LMG

7.62mm

04

None

Case still under investigation

04

Small calibre ammunition

5.45mm

5.45mm

340

None

Case still under investigation

05

Small calibre ammunition

9.19mm

9.19mm

01

None

Case still under investigation

06

Small calibre ammunition

12.7mm

12.7mm

01

None

Case still under investigation

07

Yellow smoke grenade

Yellow smoke grenade

Yellow smoke grenade

01

None

Case still under investigation

08

Stun grenade

Stun grenade

Stun grenade

01

None

Case still under investigation

2. What number of the specified firearms and ammunition were recovered and/or found to be linked to crimes.

(a) None

28 September 2020 - NW14

Profile picture: Gardee, Mr GA

Gardee, Mr GA to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Whether her department discriminates against applicants who wish to join the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) when their medical reports indicate that they are HIV positive; if not, what number of HIV positive applicants have thus far been enrolled in the SANDF?

Reply:

Following on recent case law in this regard, the SANDF is busy reworking its medical classification policies to ensure that there is no discrimination against members who are HIV positive.

The SANDF cannot provide the number of HIV positive applicants enrolled in the SANDF.

28 September 2020 - NW1296

Profile picture: Kohler-Barnard, Ms D

Kohler-Barnard, Ms D to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

What total number of persons were (a) murdered, (b) arrested unlawfully and (c) assaulted with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm by members of the SA National Defence Force in the (i) 2016-17, (ii) 2017-18 (iii) 2018-19 and (iv) 2019-20 financial years?

Reply:

 

FY 16/17

FY17/18

FY18/19

FY19/20

 

a

b

c

d

Murder

0

0

0

0

Unlawful Arrests

0

0

0

0

Assault GBH

1

  • Assault GBH member assaulted a civilian lady. Accused found guilty and fined R3000.

0

 

1

  • Assault GBH Member assaulted a civilian. 1st court appearance was on 24/4/2018, remanded, no further court date supplied.

1

  • Assault GBH Member assaulted a civilian. Case withdrawn by Wynberg Magistrate court.

This report relates to finalised cases where members have been convicted and do not include statistics on pending charges given the manner the questionwas phrased.

22 September 2020 - NW2145

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

(1)Whether, with reference to the financial problems experienced by Denel, the Department of Defence and Armscor which hinder their delivery on their mandates, especially Denel’s challenges to deliver on contractual obligations to the SANDF, there are any considerations to restructure Denel and Armscor; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) Whether a decision has been made to cancel the project considering the challenges to fund and deliver on Project Hoefyster; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether, with reference to the reduced budget of the department, specifically the Special Defence Account allocation to Denel and Armscor, she is able to confirm (a) if projects Biro and Hotel will not be delayed and (b) that no payment will be defaulted; if not, why not; if so, (i) how will the management of the dockyard activities be impacted and (ii) what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1) The performance of Denel against contracts for the DOD is currently being hindered to a great extent as a result of their financial distress which is impeding the procurement of subsystems and components required for meeting their contractual deliveries, as well as a significant loss of capability in certain critical areas.

Armscor and the DOD have developed alternative options with respect to the future of Denel, which will be presented for consideration by decision makers within government. It is clear that, without a significant bailout by Government, Denel will not be in a position to exist in its current form, nor will it be in a position to meet its contractual obligations to Armscor.

Denel possesses specific critical strategic and sovereign capabilities that are not duplicated elsewhere in the RSA, and the proposed options for going forward are aimed at maintaining at least those identified strategic and sovereign capabilities.

At present there is no imperative to restructure Armscor. Armscor recently completed a turnaround process which resulted in a restructuring that was aimed at optimising the performance of the organisation and which furthermore focussed on increased revenue generation in view of the decrease in the Defence budget and anticipated decreases in the transfer payment allocated to Armscor.

(2) Over the past few years, Project Hoefyster has suffered from significant delays and Denel is currently reneging on their contractual deliveries on this project. During 2018, Denel formally indicated to Armscor that it cannot complete the project within timescales, specifications or within budget, and requested a reset of the contract.

Armscor has presented several options with respect to going forward with the project to all relevant forums within the DOD. These options were thoroughly considered by both Armscor and the DOD, and a preferred option of deferment of the project was further developed and motivated. This option was supported by the SA Army, and has been presented to the respective governance forums within the DOD and was eventually recommended to the Armaments Acquisition Council (AAC) which is chaired by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. The AAC is the final decision making authority on projects, and it will provide guidance with respect to the preferred option regarding going forward with the project.

(3) In spite of the decline in the Capital Budget of the DOD which forms part of the Special Defence Account, sufficient funding is available to fund both projects Biro and Hotel. Neither of the projects will thus be delayed as a result of insufficient funding and Armscor will not be defaulting on any of the contractual payments. The worsening Rate of Exchange of the South African Rand against the Euro and other major currencies is placing significant pressure on the available budget for both projects, but the DOD has to date been able to provide sufficient funding to maintain the required budget for the projects.

Some delays on both projects have however been incurred as a result of the COVID-19 Lockdown and the resultant inability to import certain critical subsystems, but both projects are endeavouring to make up the delays that have been suffered. At present, project Biro is still expected to deliver the first vessel on time (January 2020), while a number of the contractual deliverables on project Hotel have been completed ahead of time.

In this regard, it is not expected that there will be any negative impact on the management of the anticipated Dockyard activities.

17 September 2020 - NW1942

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Whether the (a) members and (b) beneficiaries of the 32 Battalion Trust Fund have ever been provided with any benefits; if not, why not; if so, what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

1. Unknown. The SA Army cannot pronounce itself on the functioning of the 32 Battalion Trust Fund or its continuation after 24 November 2005 when it ceased to be administered by the SA Army Foundation.

17 September 2020 - NW1826

Profile picture: Komane, Ms RN

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

What are the reasons that the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is (a) disregarding court orders prohibiting the eviction of the community of Marieville in Ekurhuleni, of which the last court order that was issued in June 2020 ruled that the SANDF must immediately return to the community all building materials and possessions confiscated and (b) still harassing the community?

Reply:

1. What is the reason that the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is

a) The SANDF did not disregard any court order. The SANDF does not have any plan to evict anyone without any court order and its eviction court application process is under way. The members of the community would stay there until the eviction process by the SANDF has been adjudicated upon and finalised.

It is also important to mention that the residents who left the Happiness Village or the military land concerned have done so freely and this was after the Ekurhuleni Municipality intervened by – inter alia – asking the community members who wanted to be relocated to a place called Zamani, to be so relocated and the process ran smoothly with the SANDF assisting the Municipality therein. The building materials and possessions that have been removed are those belonging to the very same community members who have agreed to move to Zamani. This was done in order to enable the Municipality to know how many shacks and families have been moved and how many are still to remain at Happiness Village/ military land concerned. This approach is intended to help the Municipality to manage the situation better, should the eviction by SANDF of those illegal occupants succeeds.

b) The SANDF members are not harassing anyone and our plea has always been, when the eviction process is still underway, the illegal occupants should be requested not to bring extra shacks and/ or allow new occupants to prevent the mushrooming of the number of people staying there, because if this could be allowed, same will create a very serious problem for the Municipality if it is to assist with an alternative accommodation should they be finally evicted.

17 September 2020 - NW1862

Profile picture: Xaba, Mr VC

Xaba, Mr VC to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)What are the benefits for the Republic’s participation in Operation Copper contained in the Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Security Cooperation aimed at strengthening anti-piracy efforts that was signed by Mozambique, Tanzania and the Republic in 2012; (2) whether, given the nonparticipation of the other two countries in the operation and the fact that marine piracy remains a threat to all countries bordering the Western Indian ocean, she has found that the resources would be better used to patrol the exclusive economic zone of the Republic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details

Reply:

(1) In accordance to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Republic has a vested interest in the political, economic, social and security objectives to promote peace, stability and the well-being of its neighbours. This is affected by protecting the integrity of the territorial waters against any illegal activities that undermines security and economic development, which includes piracy. It is the conviction that close co-operation and a mutual understanding as well as collaboration in matters of maritime security will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.

It provides a deterrence and is preventative to maritime piracy and maritime crimes committed at sea. The presence of Islamic militants in Northern Mozambique and the potential maritime threat they pose, requires the protection of the sea lanes within the Mozambique Channel that convey a large percentage of South Africa’s fuel requirements. Attacks from the sea are proving a very viable option with a very low risk of being halted/stopped. If left unchecked, Northern Mozambique could very well become a “launching site” for further criminal activities and networks in the region, which may include piracy, adopting asymmetric tactics destabilising and rendering the adjoining seas dangerous.

It also ensures valuable time at sea and training for crew members of the South African Navy (SAN) and keeps the ships’ crews interested in their profession. Relationships are developed with the Mozambican Security Forces and the local population. It is also a valuable source in the gathering of maritime related information.

(2) The SADC Maritime Security Strategy was an attempt to address piracy in the SADC Indian Ocean. The benefits derived from this Strategy and the subsequent signing of the Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the RSA, Mozambique and Tanzania, signalled an end to “sea blindness within the SADC east coast, as well as engaging in discussions surrounding maritime security and the “blue economy”.

The promulgation of the Maritime Security Strategy and trilateral MOU was the confirmation of closer co-operation between member states on the SADC east coast to solve a common threat. This should be seen in a positive light firstly as it not just engendered closer co-operation amongst the Navies of the SADC east coast it’s also the first positive step in unlocking the maritime estate of the SADC and with it the blue economy.

Further to the above the SADC Maritime Security Strategy gave effect to the 13th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government that declared that there is a need “to develop a comprehensive and coherent strategy” in order to achieve Africa’s Security and Safety, as well as developmental aspirations, particularly within the maritime domain.

It further charged the Regional Economic Communities to develop, coordinate and harmonize policies and strategies to improve the African maritime security and safety standards, as well as the African maritime economy for more wealth creation from its oceans and seas.

17 September 2020 - NW1971

Profile picture: Groenewald, Dr PJ

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

(1)(a) How many tonnes of ammunition that is currently stored at 97 Ammunition Depot in De Aar have become old and less accurate, have reached the end of their shelf life-span and/or the explosives have supposedly begun to crystallise, (b) what are the calibres of the specified ammunition, (c) what number of each type of ammunition is at the depot and (d) what are the manufacturing dates of the ammunition; (2) whether her department intends to take steps to remove the ageing ammunition; if not, why not; if so, (a) what steps and (b) how long will it take to complete the specified steps; (3) whether the lightning conductors at the specified depot is serviced annually; If not, (a) why not and (b) what number of ammunition depots’ lightning conductors (i) have been fully serviced and/or (ii) must still be serviced this year; (4) whether the security of the area complies with all requirements for ammunition depots; if not, why not; if so, who is responsible for the security?

Reply:

(1) Most of the ammunition at the depot is old, but the ammunition is however not unstable. The life cycle of ammunition is not given in years, and it cannot be predetermined when ammunition reaches the end of life, or even when it will start to become unstable. For that reason annual inspections and functional testing are executed by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Various factors however influence the time span on how ammunition age and potentially become unsafe. The two worst case environments for explosives are heat and humidity, and therefore the controlled storage inside the licensed ammunition warehouses is. Annual inspections and testing are executed against specifications, designed for each type and configuration of ammunition to ensure both functioning as well as safety. Furthermore unserviceable ammunition is ammunition that is not functioning within specification, but it is still safe for storage, handling and transport. There are serviceable and unserviceable ammunition in the depot, where the backlog on disposal is on the unserviceable ammunition. There is no unstable ammunition in the depot. As soon as there is an indication from the annual testing and inspection that the possibility of ammunition become unsafe is there, these ammunition is destroyed or even sold back to the original equipment manufacturer before it could become unstable, in order to ensure that there is no safety implication from old ammunition in the depots.

At 97 Ammunition Depot there are approximately 8 000 tons (Nett Explosive Content) of unserviceable ammunition, measured in the explosive weight of the ammunition. This is primarily made up of small arms ammunition, mortar ammunition, hand and rifle grenades, aircraft bombs, artillery shells and medium calibre ammunition. The tonnage changes on a daily basis as ammunition is sold or destroyed, or as ammunition are regraded due to the inspections and dynamic testing. The phase out of weapon systems also has an influence on these tonnages.

(2) Ammunition is stored according to predetermined safety groupings in various designed for and licenced ammunition warehouses. These are designed to contain a possible explosion to those specific warehouses, and are thus traversed with a minimum safety distance to the next warehouse. The licence of each warehouse will indicate what types of ammunition can be stored there, as well as the maximum quantity of each type, in order to ensure the containment of a possible explosion. There are also an outside safety distance, taking into account all ammunition and explosives in all warehouses, to ensure the safety of personnel and infrastructure outside the depot. There is furthermore no ammunition or explosives stored in field storage, which could nullify this safety distances.

The department will carry on with the following steps to manage and reduce the ageing of ammunition. While the under mentioned steps will drastically reduce the old ammunition in the depot during the next 8 years, the ammunition will be able to be stored, handled and transported safely due to the storage conditions and annual management and prioritisation of the ammunition processes :

a. Continue with the annual inspections and dynamic testing in order to prioritise the disposal of potential unsafe ammunition.

b. Continue with the annual surveillance and chemical analyses of the propellant program, as was done for more than 10 years already, in conjunction with the industry.

c. Continue with ammunition disposal of approximately 1000 tons a year by means of sales through Armscor, which include aircraft bombs, 68mm

obsolete rockets, medium calibre ammunition and 90mm redundant ammunition, as well as conventional destruction of all other types of ammunition.

d. The conclusion of the upgrading and maintenance contract of the inert deforming facility, which was done over the past three years, followed by the already planned expansion of the facility to include explosive filled breakdown of ammunition, with the 140mm ammunition as a pilot project, over the next 4 years.

e. The rework of the mortar bombs on a new charge and tail configuration, which will upgrade the bombs from an obsolete and unserviceable condition to a serviceable condition for force preparation and force employment.

f. The placement of a destruction contract for small arms ammunition on the original equipment manufacturer is also in process as was twice done in the past.

(3) All ammunition depots and installations are to meet the requirements in terms of SANS Code of Practice 10313 of 2012, in conjunction with SANS 62305 and IEC Standards. Currently the lightning conductors are not certified. During April 2019 a process commenced to rectify these requirements. A Scope of Work and motivations were submitted to the Procurement Board, and service providers were invited on various occasions during 2020 for quotations in order to certify the lightning conductors. All three ammunition depots’ contracts have been approved for the annual service of the lightning conductors, and contractors has thus already been appointed. All funding has been put in place for these contracts, and all lightning conductors at the various depots will be certified and serviceable after the completion of this process by the contracted supplier. The Department of Defence is in the process of outsourcing the training of members in the assessment, testing, repair, maintenance and certification of the lightning conductors within the Department. The capability would thus be beneficial to the Department in the long term, as all other facilities would also be internally serviced in terms of laid down prescripts. This training should be completed in the next academic year.

(4) At the depot there is an outside perimeter fence, a three tier high security fence, guards as well as a two lock system on each of the ammunition warehouses, with all ammunition locked in warehouses. The high security fence consists of a three tier fence system, of which the middle fence is an electrical fence. The lapse of a maintenance contract entails that electricity of this fence is shut down. The three tier fence, inclusive of the gates, are however still serviceable and in working condition. Additional guards have been put in place to enhance security while the electrical fence is switched off. The maintenance of the high security fence is currently effectively executed by SANDF personnel. Once the project to upgrade the high security fences is finalised, a maintenance contract for the new fences and systems will be awarded again, as the SANDF does not have the capability to manage the electrical fence.

17 September 2020 - NW1940

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

(1)Whether the 32 Battalion still has a trust fund; if so, (a) what is the current quantum of funds in the specified trust fund and (b) for what purposes are the funds utilised; (2) (a) on what date was the trust fund established, (b) what total amount of funds have been (i) deposited into and (ii) spent from the trust fund in each financial year since its existence and (c) for what purposes was each amount spent?

Reply:

1. Unknown. The 32 Battalion Trust Fund was under facilitation of the SA Army Foundation for a short duration as a Non-Profit Fund (NPF). This remote connotation with the Trust Fund ceased on 24 November 2005 with the payment of all monies of the Trust Fund to the 32 Battalion Veterans’ Association. The SA Army had no insight nor provided any direction to the Trust Fund management on its financial aspects, including the purposes of the fund and/ or its expenditure, prior to or following this payment and cessation of the relationship.

2. (a) The 32 Battalion Trust Fund was established on 01 April 1993 as a Non-Public Fund (NPF) and was managed by the 32 Battalion Veterans’ Association.

(b) and (c) It is not known to the SA Army what amount of monies were administered by the 32 Battalion Veterans’ Association as the 32 Battalion Trust Fund is not under any purvey of the SA Army since 24 November 2005, when a payment of R954,218.12 was made by the SA Army Foundation to the 32 Battalion Veterans’ Association (in the name of Miracle Mile Investments 39 (Pty) Ltd.). The SA Army was never privy to the management of the 32 Battalion Trust Fund.

17 September 2020 - NW1972

Profile picture: Groenewald, Dr PJ

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

(1)What are the details of the criminal complaint lodged against the Surgeon-general in terms of case number 275/5/2020 at the Temba Police Station; (2) whether the Surgeon-general has already appeared in court in this regard; if so, (a) what number of times and (b) on which dates; (3) whether the Surgeon-general is still in service; if not, what (a) type of leave has been granted to him and (b) are the starting and end dates of the specified leave; (4) whether she will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

The Surgeon General was arrested and charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition on 17 May 2020. It was later found that the firearm was licenced and belonged to his late father who had passed away four weeks prior the incident. Through his legal representative, the Surgeon General provided all the proof needed by the prosecuting authority which included the following:

The deceased licence of firearm.

His father’s death certificate.

Proof that he was nominated as the executor of his late father’s estate.

The above, and also the fact that all this occurred at a time during which there was a firearm amnesty for the handing over of any illegal firearms to the South African Police Service, prompted the Senior Prosecutor to withdraw the charges against the Surgeon General for lack of evidence to prosecute.

The Surgeon General appeared in court after the day of arrest and was due to appear again on the 7th of August 2020, but due to COVID-19, could not attend and the case was postponed to 20 August 2020. It was on this date that the charges against the Surgeon General were formally withdrawn.

The Surgeon General is currently on sick leave and he is still in full service and has never been put on special leave.

17 September 2020 - NW1941

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

Whether the Auditor-General has ever conducted an audit into the 32 Battalion Trust Fund; if not, why not; if so, what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

1. No, the Auditor General has not conducted an audit of the 32 Battalion Trust Fund. The office of the Auditor General does not have auspices over such Non-Public Fund (NPF) entities. The 32 Battalion Trust Fund was facilitated by the SA Army Foundation (an NPF entity); any tenuous association ceased when the funds were paid over to the 32 Battalion Veterans’ Association on 24 November 2005.

17 September 2020 - NW1998

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

(1)Whether she has been informed of the (a) closure of the 4 Parachute Battalion at Bofulanare, Mafikeng, and (b) re-establishing of these as 2nd Regular Parachute Battalion at Bulembu, Eastern Cape; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so; what are the strategic benefits of the specified closure and re-establishment given the expected resettlement cost of approximately R10 to R20 million; (2) given the financial and budget deficit of her department and the SA National Defence Force, how does she justify the expense which can be regarded as non-essential in this period?

Reply:

1. No, as no ministerial authority has been obtained, yet. (a) there can be no closure of 4 Parachute Battalion as it was never established in Bofulanare, Mafikeng and (b) No, the establishment of a Parachute Battalion in Bulembu, Eastern Cape, is yet to obtain ministerial authority, the project is currently at a feasibility study stage and its strategic benefits will be made visible on the conclusion of the feasibility study.

2. While the SANDF is cognisant of the prevailing budgetary constraints, it has the Constitutional mandate to deliver on the protection of the country, its territorial integrity and its people, therefore, the conduct of this feasibility study is in the spirit of fulfilling this mandate.

17 September 2020 - NW1999

Profile picture: Marais, Mr S

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

(1)Whether she has been informed that soldiers belonging to the 4 Parachute Battalion which was established in 2014 have invested in houses and established their families in schools and the community; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, has consideration been given to (a) costs and (b) trauma that will come as a result of resettling the families in Bulembu; (2) whether her department will assist with the costs to resettle the families in the Eastern Cape; if not, why not; if so, what are the costs involved?

Reply:

1. 4 Parachute Battalion was never established in 2014, members of 44 Parachute Regiment were sent to the North West from Bloemfontein as part of the team to compile a feasibility study for the establishment of 4 Parachute Battalion, (a) and (b) all members of the SANDF, on enrolment into the organisation, are fully aware that they will be utilised where the organisation requires their services and cannot be declared area-bound.

2. Whenever the ministerial authority is obtained for the establishment of 4 Parachute Battalion, or any other unit, anywhere in the Republic, members have access, through HR policies to resettle their families, within prescripts of the DOD. Resettlement benefits to which members are entitled to include: subsistence and travel expenses for the official and one direct member of his/her family to the new place of work prior to the date of transfer; subsistence and travel of the official and the household arising from the transfer to the new place of work; removal of household and personal effects from the old place of work to the new workplace in the Republic, resettlement costs; transfer fees and bond cost, if the official purchases a dwelling or building site at the new place of work within the same metropolitan area (subject to policy requirements); for each school-going child who must change school and who is dependent on the official, the DOD may provide a once-off amount for new school uniforms (clothing and footwear); interim accommodation, if the official and the immediate family must rent interim furnished accommodation at the old and/or new place of work; travel expenses of dependent schoolchildren and 50% financial assistance with boarding school and lodging fees on transfer, if the child must remain in a school near the official’s former place of work.

24 August 2020 - NW866

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

(1)Whether her department will offer any form of Covid-19 financial and/or other relief to small businesses; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether the Covid-19 financial and/or other relief will only be allocated to qualifying small businesses according to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, Act 53 of 2003, as amended; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what statutory grounds and/or provisions does she or her department rely to allocate Covid-19 financial or other relief only to small businesses according to the specified Act and (b) what form of Covid-19 financial or other relief, if any, will be made available to other small businesses?

Reply:

(1) The Department will not offer any form of COVID-19 relief to small businesses, as its Departmental mandate is on Defence of the RSA, and the function does not include funds or resource allocation to businesses.

(2) (a) The Department provides small business the opportunity to supply the Department with goods and services as required. BBBE companies are also assisted in respect of compliance to National Treasury Regulations and other legislative prescripts. (b) No Covid-19 financial and/or other relief will be made available to small businesses in line with the answer provided in paragraph (1) above.