ATC230926: Report of the Joint Study Tour of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence to Germany over the Period 25 June 2023 to 1 July 2023, Dated 21 September 2023


Report of the Joint Study Tour of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence to Germany over the Period 25 June 2023 to 1 July 2023, Dated 21 September 2023.




The Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) and the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) conducted a joint International Study Tour to Germany from 25 June to 1 July 2023 with the intention of studying international best practice on selected pre-identified defence-related matters that align with the oversight mandate of the Committees. This Report provides an overview of the Study Tour engagements, the main findings and observations by the Committee, as well as related recommendations.


  1. Primary aims of the Study Tour


The focus areas of the Study Tour were twofold. First, it focused on the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Force Structure and Force Design, comparing this to international best practices. The international comparison with other militaries’ spending on Compensation of Employees (CoE) and succession planning allowed Parliament’s two Defence Committees to make recommendations in this regard. In particular, to assist with ensuring fiscal stability in the Department of Defence (DOD) who is currently exceeding CoE expenditure ceilings set by National Treasury. The Study Tour was thus aimed at directly addressing one of the largest sources of irregular expenditure in the DOD. The Study Tour also reviewed military force rejuvenation in Germany, which impacts on youth employment opportunities.


Second, the Study Tour aimed to engage the selected country (Germany) on the management of their defence industry and the parliamentary oversight thereof. Findings in this regard feed into the JSCD oversight of South Africa’s Aerospace and Defence Master Plan and efforts to boost the Defence Industry’s economic contribution and potential for employment creation. It also links to the JSCD’s oversight of the state of preparedness of the SANDF as it relates to its prime mission equipment, which is a constitutional requirement of the Committee.


1.2       Defence Committees Members and Support Staff


The Delegation comprised of the following Members of the JSCD and PCDMV, with all National Assembly Members being part of the PCDMV and the JSCD:


Members of the Defence Committees:


National Assembly (NA)

Mr VC Xaba                                          African National Congress (ANC) - Leader of the delegation

Mr T Mmutle                                         African National Congress (ANC)

Ms T Legwase                                      African National Congress (ANC)

Ms A Mthembu                         African National Congress (ANC)

Ms M Mothapo                          African National Congress (ANC)

Mr SJF Marais                          Democratic Alliance (DA)

Mr M Shelembe                        Democratic Alliance (DA)

Mr T Mafanya                                       Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)


National Council of Provinces (NCOP)

Ms M Bartlett                                        African National Congress (ANC)

Mr D Ryder                                           Democratic Alliance (DA)


Support Staff

Dr W Janse Van Rensburg                    Content Advisor

Ms N Maxhegwana                               Committee Secretary





2.1       Rationale for the Study Tour


The Committees identified the need for a Study Tour to study international best practice based on the work of the two Defence Committees during the Sixth Parliament. Based on the various oversight engagements of the Committees since 2019, two key overarching areas that may benefit from international study were identified:


  • Matters related to SANDF Force Structure and Force Design

Due to fiscal constraints, the South African defence budget has been gradually reduced to less than 1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which compares poorly to international best practice. Expenditure on CoE has increased to 69% of South Africa’s defence expenditure and the SANDF struggles with rejuvenating the Force, with less than 4% of the SANDF being younger than 25 years. The JSCD has noted that these questions relate specifically to the issues of Force Structure, Force Design and cost-effective, sustainable Human Resources management. A Study Tour therefore had the potential to provide lessons from international best practice of efficient Force Structure and Force Design. More specifically, international comparison could provide insight into effective human resources management to ensure force rejuvenation, humane exit mechanisms for older soldiers and efficient succession planning. This is central to ensuring a more economically sustainable SANDF which is aligned with National Treasury directives to the SANDF.


  • Matters related the defence industry and military state of preparedness

The SANDF is involved in a number of domestic and international operations. The extent of these missions, coupled with budgetary constraints, equipment deficiencies and the limitations of a small Defence Force place significant strain on the SANDF. Long-term stability is required to ensure that the SANDF can appropriately support both internal and external deployments. A Study Tour therefore had the potential to provide valuable lessons to South Africa on how to improve deployment efficiency. There is also an increasing demand for the SANDF to deploy domestically with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and such deployments can also be studied internationally in countries with domestic security concerns. Studying the management and maximisation of defence industry abroad can aid in enhancing the South African Defence Industry and maximise its economic contribution and employment-generation impact.


2.2       Study Tour selection process


The need to undertake a Study Tour can be traced back to the two Defence Committees’ 2021 Strategic workshop, which resulted in the inclusion of a potential Study Tour in the Committees’ Strategic Plan for the Sixth Parliament. Since then, the Committees, mostly through the JSCD platform, had several engagements to refine the Study Tour’s focus areas and country selection, as follows:


  • 2 June 2022:                 Briefing to the Committee by Content Advisor on potential Study Tour
                                        Focus areas. Members identified the need to focus on force structure and
                                        force design. Members also added the need to focus on the Defence
  • 25 August 2022:            Briefing by the Content Advisor on the Study Tour Concept Note, including
                                        eight counties of possible interest based on the desired focus areas.
                                        Members requested further research on destinations.
  • 1 September 2022:        Briefing by the Content Advisor on further research on possible destinations
                                        for the Study Tour based on the desired focus areas. Members expressed
                                        interest in visiting three countries during the Tour, namely Egypt, Türkiye
                                        and Germany.
  • 23 February 2022:         Administrative updates on the Study Tour.
  • 23 March 2023:             Committee decision to postpone the Study Tour to June 2023.
  • 11 May 2023:                Agreement that the Study Tour should go ahead as planned. The Committee
                                        was informed that Egypt was unable to accommodate the Committee during
                                        the envisaged visiting dates in June 2023.
  • 18 May 2023:                Update on administrative arrangements by the Content Advisor and the
                                        Committee Secretary. The Committee was informed that the elections in
                                        Türkiye affects the planned Study Tour. Similarly, Parliamentary
                                        limitations required the Study Tour to be shortened. Members therefore
                                        agreed to limit the Study Tour to Germany.



The Committees sought the assistance of the South African embassy in Berlin to liaise on its behalf regarding relevant interactions with German stakeholders. The South African Defence Attache in Berlin was provided with a Concept Note of the Study Tour and assisted in ensuring engagements in Germany. The programme below was subsequently developed based on the Committees’ Study Tour focus areas and the availability of relevant stakeholders.


Monday 26 June 2023

  • Orientation by the Defence Attache at the South African Embassy in Berlin.
  • Engagement with Hensoldt Germany and Hensoldt South Africa.


Tuesday 27 June 2023

  • Engagement with the German Parliament’s Defence Committee’s Secretariat.
  • Guided tour of the German Parliament (Bundestag).
  • Guided tour of the Bundeswehr memorial.


Wednesday 28 June 2023

  • Engagements with the German Bundeswehr on:
    • Cyber defence.
    • Military Personnel management.
    • Military University management.
    • Military career management.
    • German Reserve Force management.
    • A German military budget overview.
  • Engagement with Naval Vessels Lurssen (NVL)


Thursday 29 June 2023

  • Engagement with Rheinmetall Germany.
  • Engagement with Tamsen Maritim.


Friday 30 June 2023

  • Tour of the Rheinmetall Factory in Unterluss.




The Study Tour’s official engagements commenced with a briefing at the South African Embassy in Berlin on 24 June 2023. Mr Willie van der Westhuizen, Counsellor Political at the South African Embassy, welcomed Members of the Committee and provided a brief political overview of Germany. He handed over to the South African Defence Attache, Col TV Lesejane-Ramapulane, to further orientate Members and discuss the programme for the week.


4.1       Summary of the briefing


Col Lesejane-Ramapulane provided Members with a comprehensive overview of Germany and what is to be expected on the Study Tour. Her briefing commenced with an historic overview of Germany and its formation through to its more modern history largely shaped by the First and Second World Wars. In contemporary terms, she noted Germany as a founding member of the European Economic Community and the European Union and that it has the largest economy in Europe and the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The briefing also included an overview of Berlin, where the Study Tour largely took place.


The Defence Attache further included a focus on the political systems in Germany, noting it is based on a constitutional law framework and a Federal Government with a cabinet consisting of the Federal Chancellor and 15 Federal Ministers. The presentation then shifted to the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), which is ranked the 30th largest military force in the world and the second largest in the European Union behind France. Germany has the seventh-highest military expenditure in the world with an annual budget exceeding $56.0 billion and an active force of 183 638 military personnel and 81 318 civilians. A short overview of the Bundestag Defence Committee was also provided.


The briefing concluded with an overview of the Study Tour programme and a background segment on all defence industry role-players to be engaged with during the Tour.

Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


4.2       Discussion by the Committee


Following the briefing by the Defence Attache, Members raised a number of questions for clarity and requested further information for the engagements to follow:


  • Members raised questions around the Chief of the Bundeswehr and the process of his/her appointment. It was indicated that the position is both a political and merit appointment, whereby the Minister of Defence can select from the qualified group of generals for the appointment of the Chief of the Bundeswehr.
  • Members noted the importance of the presentation’s focus on military acquisitions and especially the domestic defence industry capabilities. Members noted the example of the acquisition of maritime patrol aircraft (P-8 Poseidon) which highlighted the German prioritisation of maritime patrol capabilities and that this capability is withering in South Africa.
  • Members expressed further interest in the mention of a Bundeswehr cellphone application (app) that can track the wellbeing of soldiers and can be used as a form of communication (with them).
  • Members noted and appreciated the work of the South African Defence Attache and highlighted the importance of such a position in countries such as Germany.
  • Members noted the importance of Armscor and other defence-related state entities growing South African capabilities through training opportunities in countries such as Germany, given the high levels of skills and training opportunities it present.
  • Members highlighted the importance of defence technologies, as is evident in Germany.
  • Related to the above, Members also noted the importance of Cyber Security and the need for South Africa to improve in this regard.
  • There was a discussion between the Attache and Members about the need to increase training of South African soldiers, technicians and Defence entity personnel in Germany, including from companies that specialise in equipment in use in the SANDF.
  • Members noted the need for increased efforts to persuade German defence companies to open factories in South Africa as a potential contributor to further economic growth.




Following the briefing at the South African Embassy in Berlin on 24 June 2023, the Committees moved to the offices of Hensoldt Germany in central Berlin.


5.1       Summary of the Hensoldt briefing


The Hensoldt briefing was conducted by Mr Rynier van der Watt, the CEO of Hensoldt South Africa, which is a subsidiary of Hensoldt Germany. He was accompanied by Mr Ryszard Bil, Vice President and Head of Portfolio Development, as well as Ms Celia Malahlela, the Head of International Setup. The briefing provided an overview of the Hensoldt Group, noting that it has four major sites in Germany, namely the Head office in Taufkirchen, a Radar and Electronic Warfare technology development facility in Ulm, Opto-electronic innovation division in Oberkochen, and an Avionics and space centre in Immenstaad. The presentation provided further information on major developmental projects and collaborations in Germany.


On request of the JSCD and PCDMV, Hensoldt also provided an overview of the export control regimes in both South Africa and Germany. The presentation thereafter provided an overview of Hensoldt South Africa, how it relates to the broader Hensoldt Group and the current partnership between Hensoldt South Africa and Denel. Hensoldt South Africa currently employees 850 people at its three facilities, of which 849 employees are South African. Hensoldt has grown its South African workforce and also supports up to 8 SMMEs. They also offered 50 learnerships with the aim to absorb as many learners as possible. Their facilities include a Spectrum dominance innovation facility in Pretoria, the Optronic competence centre in Irene and a Radar expertise facility in Cape Town.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


5.2       Discussion by the Committee

  • Members questioned whether there were any major differences in the arms control regime in South Africa and Germany. It was noted that there is no major difference experienced between the two arms control regimes. It was noted that the origin of technology that is being exported determines the jurisdiction and the arms export regime that applies. As such, Hensoldt equipment developed in South Africa will be subject to South African legislation. It was further noted that Hensoldt produces Class 3 products such as radar, which is mostly defensive in purpose and may therefore not be subject to the same level of export requirements as other offensive weaponry and equipment.
  • Members requested more clarity on Hensoldt’s experience of the German Bundeswehr arms acquisition process. It was stated that this is largely an open process and that there is also a process of tenders and that Hensoldt does a lot of tendering around the globe, including in Germany.
  • Members requested further information on the Denel-Hensoldt relationship. It was noted that Denel is a shareholder and a strategic partner for Hensoldt and that it has strategic projects with Denel. Hensoldt supplies sensor solutions for Denel for specific projects.
  • Members questioned whether Hensoldt sees scope for growth in South Arica. In response it was noted that there is scope for most companies in the defence industry to grow in South Africa, not just Hensoldt. However, a new strategy and future for Denel will be central to such growth and expansion.
  • Members expressed the need to visit Hensoldt facilities in South Africa. Hensoldt welcomed the proposal and invited Members to visit the Quadome Radar Development testing in Simon’s Town when testing commences.
  • Members required more information on South African acquisitions from Hensoldt. Hensoldt indicated that its clients are mainly international, but that if there is a demand from South Africa and Denel, they would be able to deliver given the increased production capability in South Africa since 2021.
  • Members questioned the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) processes and effectiveness thereof. Hensoldt noted that the Directorate Conventional Arms Control (DCAC) processes are manual and therefore resources dependent.
  • Members focused on land border safeguarding concerns and the need for a 24-hour surveillance capability. Hensoldt noted that it provides many of these services, showing that the technical capabilities and products are available in South Africa. What is needed is broader defence planning and funding for long-term defence stability and sustainability.
  • Members noted the need for skills transfers and funding of skills. Hensoldt indicated that it targets tertiary institutions and provide scholarships. Hensoldt then also offers practical exposure during holidays. Members noted the need for companies to also invest in learners at school level.




On 25 June 2023, the Committees engaged with the Bundestag Defence Secretariat. The main aim was to review the process of parliamentary oversight of the military in Germany and extract potential focus areas for South Africa. This engagement was followed by a guided tour of the German Bundestag.


6.1       Summary of the briefing


The briefing to the JSCD and PCDMV were provided by Dr Merati-Kashani, the Deputy Head of Defence Secretariat of the Defence Committee and Ms Popp, a Policy Analyst for the Defence Committee. The presenter provided a general overview of the Bundestag and noted that the institution consists of 736 Members of Parliament, making it the second biggest Parliament in the world. However, this size parliament comes with problems and therefore the Bundestag embarked on a process to downscale the size of the institution. The Bundestag determines the committees of parliament for each new term of parliament. In the current parliamentary term, there are 25 Committees in the Bundestag and an additional two Bodies, one of which is an inquiry into the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Afghanistan. While the Bundestag determines its own committees, there are four standing committees in law, including a Defence Committee.


With specific reference to the Bundestag Defence Committee, the presenter noted that there are 38 regular members and 38 deputy members. The composition of the committee reflects the composition of the plenary of the Bundestag and its main functions is that of legislation and oversight. The Defence Committee is a closed Committee and only Members and the Bundestag Chairperson can partake in processes of the Committee. Examples of other closed committees include Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and the Budget Committee. The Bundestag generally has 22 sitting weeks per year and the Defence Committee conducts its meetings on Wednesdays.


The main focus areas of the Defence Committee were noted as follows:

  • Defence Committee often votes on other matters and issues recommendations to the Foreign Affairs committee.
  • Focus on the Bundeswehr with 182 000 members.
  • Advising the Budget Committee on defence matters in a co-advisory role.
  • Focus on foreign missions abroad.
  • Focus on NATO and European security and the strategic compass of the EU.
  • Focus on armaments and procurement (The Committee has at least two engagements per year with the armaments board). All contracts above €25 million needs to be approved by the budget Committee with input of the Defence Committee.
  • Focus on the use of military to respond to disasters.
  • External meetings (with armed forces at military bases).
  • Public hearings, although this takes place to a lesser extent in the Defence Committee. Previous examples of such engagements in include focus on cyber security, drones acquisition, etc.
  • The Committee conducts oversight of missions abroad.


It was also noted that the Defence Committee can establish itself as a Committee of Inquiry if 25% of Members agree to that. It’s a minority right and represents a strong oversight tool. Currently there are no inquiries underway, but in the last term there was a Committee on Inquiry which results in a Report being published for consideration by the Bundestag. A further oversight tool in the German Bundestag is the use of a Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces. The Commissioner is not a Member of Parliament, but elected, and members of the Bundeswehr can turn to the Commissioner for various oversight aspects. The Commissioner therefore serves as a Champion of the armed forces.


The Defence Committee is supported by a Secretariat, consisting of eight staff Members. The Secretariat conducts all preparatory work, including preparatory briefings to the Chair, and facilitates group coordinators that meet before every session to discuss rules of the procedure and resolutions for the Committee for consideration and adoption. It also assists with minutes, hosting visiting delegations, writing reports and handling written complaints to the Committee.


6.2       Discussion by the Committee


  • Members observed with interest the electronic display at the entrance of the Defence Committee room what reflects the names of German soldiers killed while on official duty and that this serves as a stark reminder of the potential implications of deploying the military (which in Germany is the responsibility of the Parliament).
  • Members questioned the level of transparency around defence matters, given that the Bundestag Defence Committee is a closed Committee. It was indicated that defence matters are confidential and therefore excludes the public.
  • Members noted with interest the visit of Bundestag MPs to mission areas of the Bundeswehr.
  • Members noted with interest that the Defence Committee has direct access to the Budget Committee to motivate for additional funding.
  • Members questioned whether motions are brought to the Committee. The Secretariat indicated that motions on a Bill and/or the employment of Bundeswehr are transferred to Parliament where there will be a first reading. These documents are then transferred to the Committees where it is deliberated.
  • Members questioned how other parties, such as the Bundeswehr or external experts can partake in the Defence Committee work. It was indicated that while this takes place on selected occasions, it is not common due to the closed nature of the Defence Committee.
  • Members questioned whether the Bundestag were happy with, and implemented the NATO-mandated 2% of GDP to be spent on Defence. The Secretariat noted that there is general political agreement on the implementation of increased defence spending, although not all parties may agree to the extent. This consensus is visible in the additional funding package of €100 billion for the armed forces agreed to by Parliament.
  • Members questioned whether there were internal deployments of the Bundeswehr. It was noted that there is no deployment of the military domestically, but that they do assist in natural disasters.
  • Members requested more information about the criteria used in the selection of the Chairperson of the Defence Committee. It was noted that, at the beginning of an electoral term, the various parties will gather and the parties will decide who they put forward as Chairperson and the Committee then confirms the Chairperson.
  • Members requested more information on the liaison position between military and Committee (the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces). It was noted that the different divisions of military all have a liaison officer. These officers are present during parliamentary sessions and raise issues with the Committee. For example, if there is a session on a region of deployment, the liaison officers are involved in organising such visits.
  • Members asked for clarity on the role of the Defence Committee in its advisory position to the Budget Committee. The Secretariat indicated that this interaction happens between all Committees. The responsible Committees can ask for a vote from another committee that has been asked for its opinion. The Budget Committee cannot completely ignore what the Defence Committee says and how it votes.
  • Members questioned whether all members of Defence Committee are vetted to ensure confidentiality. It was indicated that security clearances are conducted for all members of the administration, but Members are not required to have a security clearance as they are elected, even though they have access to classified material. Paragraph 355b of the Penal Code applies to this case as it relates to a breach of secrecy. Should this occur, the Chair of the Committee will then lay a criminal complaint through the President of the Bundestag. However, convictions in this case are very difficult.
  • Members inquired how the Bundestag ensures accountability of the Ministry of Defence. It was noted that Members of Parliament determine the agenda of the Committee. Therefore, they can request the ministry to report to the Committee. The Parliamentary Commissioner also supports the Committee in its oversight of the ministry.
  • Members asked for clarity on the process to approve military deployments when Parliament is in recess. In the case of Afghanistan and evacuations form South Sudan, swift decisions needed to be taken by the executive. Parliament will then approve this deployment retrospectively and usually this should be done while the mission is still being conducted. There is the possibility to conduct a special sitting in such cases.




On the afternoon of 25 June 2023, the Committees were taken for a short tour of the Bundeswehr War Memorial in Berlin. The memorial serves to commemorate all fallen soldiers in the Bundeswehr and displays their names through an electronic display. During the visit, Members observed the importance of remembering fallen soldiers for their ultimate sacrifice. Members further expressed the need for similar practices in South Africa and for the protection of existing memorial sites.





On 26 June 2023, the Committees held extensive engagements with the German Bundeswehr and received briefings on a number of pre-determined aspects that aligns with the Study Tour Objectives. In this regard, the Bundeswehr assisted the Committees with briefings on cyber defence; personnel management; career management; military university management; management of the Reserve Force; and an overview of the German Defence Budget.


  1. Summary of the briefing on cyber defence and Committee discussion


The Committees received a briefing on the German cyber defence approach from Lt Col Lars Ebinger of the the Bundeswehr Cyber and Information Domain Service. The presenter noted that cyber conflict is the conflict of the future. There has been an increase in hactivism and some of these incidents are state sponsored and therefore such states are actively participating in conflict. Furthermore, cyber-attacks can have spillover effects in non-aligned states, if the IT infrastructure or pathways are located in such states.


The presenter then highlighted the functioning and coordination of Cyber Defence in Germany by noting that, in peacetime, the Bundeswehr only protects its own infrastructure, but it forms part of the whole-of-government approach to cybersecurity. The whole of government approach includes the Military Counter-Intelligence Service and is directed by broader National Security Policy and cyber defence policies. In Germany, the Cyber and Information Domain Service is considered a separate division under command of a 3-star General. The functions of the Division include the provision of advice to the Ministry of Defence, cyber-related strategies and policies, national and international cooperation, IT architecture development and protection, project management, capability planning, etc.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members requested more information on the German funding of the Cyber Defence capability. In response, the Bundeswehr representative indicated that IT has always been an integral part of the Bundeswehr and that this applies to all levels and even systems. He used the example of the importance of properly resources IT solutions, even for the procurement of weapons and systems such as aircraft as all new weapons and systems have an IT component. €500-E600 million is solely dedicated to IT, which includes funding of IT security. Lastly, of the €100 billion special defence procurement package currently underway, €21 billion will be spent on command capabilities.
  • Members questioned how the Cyber Security Council is constituted and how it executes responsibilities. It was stated that the Council is composed of all ministries and at least 2 federal states must be represented. This Council only discusses strategic matters, not operational-level matters. Currently there are laws under way for the Council to give instruction to the states on how to act in terms of cyber security and defence. However, states can act independently and only when they cannot respond, they request federal-level intervention.
  • Members requested further information on the Bundeswehr communication systems and how it relates to cyber defence. It was noted that the Bundeswehr makes use of some larger communication satellites, but there is a global move towards micro-satellites for communication. Old technology such as High-Frequency communication remains relevant, but new ways of communication are also being developed, including sun-sails.
  • Members questioned the Bundeswehr on their view on cyber technology and its relevance to border safeguarding. It was stated that some IT means are available, including microphones on borders, but this generates huge volumes of data which requires Artificial Intelligence to analyse the data.
  • Members raised questions on the role of the private sector in cyber security. Cooperation with private entities was noted as being very important. In Germany, for example, the automotive industry has set up a cyber-security research institution. Also in a European context, Germany is trying to solve cyber security with partners as, economically, it is difficult to solve this problem independently.


In conclusion, the Bundeswehr representative noted that it is not a question of if you will be attacked (cyber-attack), but when. It is important for countries to realise that successful attacks should be anticipated and appropriate responses should be developed.


  1. Summary of the briefing on personnel management and Committee discussion


Lt Col Dr Etzbach provided the Committee with a briefing on Personnel Management in the Bundeswehr. The presentation noted the legal basis for personnel management and how the Bundeswehr manages this through the Directorate-General for Personnel at the Federal Ministry of Defence and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Personnel Management. The presenter then differentiated between service status of soldiers through military service volunteers and career soldiers and he noted the prerequisites for the various career models. The presentation concluded with the personnel retention strategies in use in Germany.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members requested more information from the Bundeswehr on the strategies employed to maintain a younger force. The Bundeswehr indicated that studies have shown soldiers from the age 45 have a health deficit. Therefore, for troops in the field you need younger personnel. However, in Germany there is difficulty in attracting young people given the low unemployment rate and the desire of young people who want a more flexible lifestyle. Therefore, the Bundeswehr employee retention strategies and other benefits to soldiers, including free rail transport across Germany.
  • Members questioned the number of Generals in the current Bundeswehr of 183 000 personnel as well as the age of Generals. It was indicated that there are currently around 220 generals in the Bundeswehr. It was further stated that the goal is to increase the Bundeswehr size to between 200 000 and 300 000 soldiers. Regarding the age of Generals, it was stated that it is not possible to have a young general due to the way careers work. You need experience and the youngest would generals would be in their late 40s, but more so between the ages of 50 and 60. Further, soldiers cannot be promoted without the right qualifications. They can obtain the qualifications through the Bundeswehr, but they also need to be the best, as only the best must get promoted (merit).
  • Members requested clarity on the number of female personnel in the military. It was indicted that this varies among the services and divisions. For example, participation by woman as troops in the Bundeswehr only started in 2001. Currently, around 45% of the medical services comprise of women while 11% of troops comprise of women. Various initiatives are under way to increase female participation in the Bundeswehr.
  • Members questioned whether there were any incentives for early retirement for a second career outside the military. It was indicated that this will be addressed in the following presentation, but that further training that are transferrable to the labour market is provided by the Bundeswehr.
  • Members requested further information on military veterans care and benefits for veterans. It was noted that veteran organisations do exist that provide support. There is also health support to veterans and support to soldiers injured in action. It was further noted that once conscription stopped, the military became less integrated in society.
  • Members inquired whether soldiers can become members of a trade union. In Germany, soldiers are allowed to voluntarily join a union to promote interest of soldiers. Furthermore, there are institutions that look after the conditions of service of soldiers, including the Ombud and the Commissioner for Armed Forces in Parliament.
  • Members inquired whether the Bundeswehr make use of digital process for data capturing in the armed forces. It was noted that digitalisation is important in terms of personnel management and that the Bundeswehr keeps digital file on each member with all relevant information. It then follows that data security is extremely important and not everyone have access to such personnel data.


8.3       Summary of the briefing on military career management and Committee discussion


Mr Richard Koch presented the Committee with a briefing on career management in the Bundeswehr and reintegration into civilian working life through the Bundeswehr Vocational Advancement Service. It was noted that the current system includes career soldiers, temporary career volunteers with contracts up to 25 years and military service volunteers. The presenter then highlighted the types of vocational advancement offered by the Bundeswehr including educational and vocational qualifications, specialist training, general education and training measures such as English courses. All education and training measures take place outside the Bundeswehr on the civilian education market (with the exception of measures conducted at the Bundeswehr schools of general vocational education). Further benefits include the reimbursement of the costs of education and training, assumption of additional costs (e.g. for learning material) and helping former service members support themselves financially during training. Such advancement measures generally take place after personnel have left military service. The presentation also noted the benefits for junior rank soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers without university degrees through 4, 8 and 12-year military service. It also highlighted the benefits for officers with various years of service. The presentation provided a comprehensive overview of how the Bundeswehr cares for soldiers leaving the system and thereby also ensuring a system of force rejuvenation.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members requested further clarity on vocational training and the funding thereof. It was stated that soldiers can obtain such training from private institutions. There is then reimbursement of education cost from the Bundeswehr, but this takes place after their term of service.
  • Members requested further information on support of exiting soldiers. The Bundeswehr indicated that they also offer a transitionary allowance of up to 75% of the soldier’s salary being paid while completing vocational training upon exiting. The Bundeswehr also actively assist soldiers in finding employment. Such initiatives include the following:
    • A Job Service where companies announce they have vacancies.
    • Establishing of cooperation agreements, particularly with large companies (eg. The Deutche Bahn train service).
    • Internal job fairs.
    • In Germany, every 6th or 9th job opening in the public sector is reserved for recruitment of former temporary career volunteers with a term of enlistment of 12 more years. However, soldiers have to qualify for these positions.
  • Members required clarity on the cost of these initiatives. The total cost to the Bundeswehr is more than €140 million per year (against a budget of €14 Billion). €140 million is just for vocational training, but there are also further payment options that cost between €400-500 million. However, there is more than 90% integration and 90% satisfaction among those integrated. It was further noted that this system is designed specifically for the German market and the German situation.


8.4       Summary of the briefing on Military University management and Committee discussion


Col Klein of the Bundeswehr briefed the Committee on academic education of the officers at the German Armed Forces Universities. The presentaiton focused on the military education structures in the Bundeswehr as well as the various military qualifications presented. It was noted that the military universities are not only teaching facilities, but also research institutions. They manage to find a balance between military and academic traingin and education. Furthermore, they also offer some courses with transferable skills to the civilian sector. Learning opportunities for students from other countries are also offered.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members questioned whether the military universities are operated form the Bundeswehr budget. It was indicated that the military university system was developed by Helmoed Schmidt and is purely for the Bundeswehr, therefore funded from the Bundeswehr budget.
  • Members requested clarity on what happens to potential officers who do not complete their degree courses. It was noted that there is currently a completion rate of about 75%. For the other 25%, the Bundeswehr makes an offer to stay in the Bundeswehr in positions that do not require a degree qualification. From there, soldiers can remain in the Bundeswehr or move to the private sector.
  • Members requested clarity on the development of military university curricula. It was stated that military universities are free to develop their own curricula.
  • Members questioned whether political activity were allowed on campus. In Germany, no political activity is allowed on military campuses given the nature of the military institution. However, the military universities conduct political education through presenting subjects such as political science.
  • Members required clarity on the funding of foreign students. It was noted that while there are bilateral arrangements, sending states do not have to fund that student and it is fully funded by the Bundeswehr.


8.5       Summary of the briefing on Reserve Force management and Committee discussion


Lt Col René Pfeil of the Bundeswehr briefed the Committee on Reserve Force management in Germany. He noted that the Reserve Force is an integral part of the Bundeswehr and serves as an important build-up tool. The presentation noted 37 000 assigned reservists in Germany with a further 785 000 available reservists. The presentation also expanded on the German Homeland Protection Force and the Homeland Protection Voluntary Service.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members questioned how the Reserve Force in Germany is directed and how it fits with the broader Bundeswehr. It was stated that modern wars cannot be fought and won without a Reserve Force. The German Bundeswehr has a dedicated Reserve Force strategy that directs its functioning and utilisation.
  • Members questioned whether there were any problems with employers not wanting to let Reserve Force members partake in military service when required. The Bundeswehr indicated that this is not really a problem in Germany as only 5 months’ active duty over a period of 6 years is required, which has a very limited impact on employment. There are also some monetary benefits to employers who receive funds to hire an alternative employee for the period when the individual is on Reserve Force training. 
  • Members asked for more information on the impact of ending conscription on the Reserve Force. It was noted that numbers changed dramatically and the pool of reservists decreased drastically. There are initiatives to overcome this by recruiting people to the Reserves with some level of basic military training.


8.6       Briefing on military budget management and Committee discussion


Lt Col Arno Pohl of the Bundeswehr briefed the Committees on the German defence budget, its structure and challenges. The presentation dealt with an overview of the federal budget and defence budget and provided a breakdown of the defence budget in terms of operating expenses, capital expenses and private operator models. Spending on international operations was also clarified as well as an overview of the Bundeswehr Special Fund.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members questioned what percentage of operational expenditure is spent on personnel. It was indicated that for active personnel cost is around €14 billion per year and additional €6 billion for pensions, which bring the total to around 40% of total defence spending.
  • Members required clarity on the €100 billion special defence package and over what period this will be spent. It was noted that the package will not expire and is not time-bound. There is, however, a focus on quick acquisitions which means a focus on procuring off-the-shelf products. However, due to inflation it is good to spend the funds sooner.
  • Members required clarity on the salary levels of Generals in the Bundeswehr compared to other ranks. The presenter did not have the exact amounts at hand, but indicated that it is generally 8-10% more than the salary of a Colonel.
  • Members questioned the funding of ad hoc military deployments. The Bundeswehr remains operationally ready and if Parliament approves a deployment, they must fund it. So far these operations were fairly simple and easy to fund.


9.         Engagement with NVL


On the afternoon of 26 June 2023, the Committees engaged with Naval Vessels Lurssen (NVL). The relevance of the engagement was not only that NVL is one of the largest naval vessel shipyards in the world, but also that they constructed the South African Frigate fleet currently in use.


9.1       Summary of the briefing


Mr Arend Schulze from NVL briefed the Committees and provided an overview of the Group’s work and operations, noting that it is founded in Germany with various shipyards and that it also operates in a number of other countries including Croatia, Brunei, Bulgaria and Australia. It has 1 700 skilled and qualified professional employees and is a key player in the supply of spare parts globally. In principle, NVL maintains a cooperation with the German Armed Forces based on trust and open exchange.


NVL's unique selling point is its experience in the construction of platforms with a focus on "stability" as well as the ability to integrate various deployment systems on the same. Germany needs an armaments strategy that provides substantive answers to the question of what role armaments should play in the German government's security policy. Particularly in the area of surface naval shipbuilding, a clear and long-term signal is needed from political decision makers.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


9.2       Discussion by the Committee


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members expressed interest in the joint public-private partnerships that were established by NVL in other countries and expressed the need for sustainable partnership that provides capability development, the establishment of naval capacity as well as focusing on employment creations.
  • Members questioned the NVL on their view of the midlife upgrades of the SA Navy vessels. It was indicated that this will be extremely expensive. Frigates require regular maintenance and are extremely complex systems which requires highly qualified personnel with regular updated training. South Africa has to think carefully about what aspects they wish to upgrade as this will significantly impact on cost. NVL further noted that it is regrettable that the plans to develop Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the SA Navy did not materialise under Project Biro as these vessels are cheaper to operate and maintain. Members then noted that it should be kept in mind that South Africa has a vast maritime territory to control. The NVL representative then pointed to, for example, Operation Atlanta (Anti-piracy naval mission in East Africa), where most countries such as Germany sent Frigates which are very expensive to operate. On the contrary, Colombia sent an OPV which was appropriate for the mission. NVL is ready to advise South Africa in this regard should there be a need.
  • Members questioned NVL on their view of spare part management. NVL noted that the acquisition of spare parts by South Africa is confusing, as some spares are procured via Armscor while others are directly procured by the SA Navy. The system needs to be simplified for both local and external companies.
  • Members questioned NVL on its views of maintain a submarine fleet. NVL indicated that it is advisable to keep these strategic pieces of equipment, but that it imperative that operating countries accept that submarines are very expensive to operate.
  • Members questioned NVL on training of naval maintenance personnel. NVL indicated that they conduct training of people in Germany, but it is preferable for NVL to train people in-country.


10.       Engagement with Tamsen Maritim


On 27 June 2023, the Committees met with representatives from Tamsen Maritim, which specialises in naval vessel maintenance. The relevance of the meeting relates to the ongoing maintenance projects of the SA Navy vessels and the PCDMV and JSCD oversight of these activities, as well as additional funding for such activities allocated over the MTEF by the National Treasury. While Tamsen Maritim is not directly involved in any of the SA Navy maintenance projects, the briefing was aimed at getting an outside perspective on such maintenance processes.


10.1    Summary of the briefing


The Tamsen Maritim briefing was provided by Mr Christian Schmoll, the Company CEO. He noted that Tamsen Maritim is a company based in Rostock, Germany, with 130 employees and a turnover of €30 million. It has several shipyards with the biggest shipyard located in Rostock with a facility of more than 54 000m2. Tamsen Maritim focuses on maintenance of vessels, but also conducts new builds on smaller vessels such as coastguard and sea rescue vessels. The company maintains Intellectual Property of all new builds. The company is open to upskilling and working with small businesses if they have good background. Tamsen Maritim is also open to work with the SA Navy if the need arises and will focus on developing local partnerships.


Note: A full copy of the briefing can be requested from the Committee Secretary.


10.2      Discussion by the Committee


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members requested clarity on the footprint of Tamsen Maritim. It was indicated that the company has 60 shipyards in Germany of which 30 are for ocean going in vessels.
  • Members questioned the view of Tamsen Maritim in terms of spares production and the over-reliance of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). The CEO indicated that Tamsen Maritim have direct contracts with sub-suppliers of spare parts in Germany. They can therefore assist South Africa in spares procurement if the need is there.
  • Members questioned how companies like Tamsen Maritim can assist in the South African developmental agenda. The Tamsen Maritim CEO indicated that the company can achieve this by first starting with small contracts and then build from there. Tamsen Maritim is open to work with local partners that are knowledgeable about South African naval vessels.
  • Members sought clarity on the fact that Tamsen Maritim does not own the Intellectual Property of vessels in refit. It was indicated that on refits, it does not have the Intellectual Property, but contract through the subcontractor on components.
  • Members asked the view of Tamsen Maritim on the role of the Armscor dockyard. It was the view of Tamsen Maritim that the Dockyard is a key strategic facility in South Africa and that it poses a possibility for a strategic partnership to ensure effectiveness.
  • Members questioned Tamsen Maritim on its view of the maintenance model of the German Navy and what South Africa can learn from this. It was noted that, in general, the German Navy is not tied to OEMs. Refits are done through tenders after a 2-year period, but key to this is that refits and maintenance is done regularly.
  • Similar to the question to NVL, Members queried Tamsen Maritim on its views on the relevance of submarines. They noted that submarines still remain relevant and that most navies maintain their submarines. Submarines are sophisticated machinery which makes it costly to maintain. However, submarines, as with any other form of military equipment, must constantly be viewed and reviewed in the context of new military technology developments such as maritime drones.


11.       Engagement with Rheinmetall


The Committees’ engagement with Rheinmetall consisted of two parts. On 26 June 2023, the Committees met representatives of Rheinmetall at their offices in Berlin to receive a briefing on the company, its operations and other aspects. On 27 June 2023, the Committee travelled from Berlin to Unterluss to visit the Rheinmetall factory. The key to visiting Rheinmetall relates not only to its place as a key global armament manufacturer, but also for the Committee to engage Rheinmetall on its strategic partnership with Rheinmetall-Denel Munitions in South Africa.


11.1      Summary of the briefing on 26 June 2023


Dr Dirk Niebel, Mr Rob Rider and Mr Sibusiso Khoza from Rheinmetall provided the Committees with an overview of the company. They noted that Rheinmetall has five divisions namely vehicle systems, weapon and ammunition, electronic solutions, sensors and actuators and material and trade. Rheinmetall has 27 700 employees with €6.4 billion in sales. However, it was noted that the company depends on a very high number of SMMEs to fulfill its orders. Rheinmetall also has a strategic partnership in South Africa (Rheinmetall-Denel Munitions) (RDM) which is 49% owned by Denel. Rheinmetall indicated that they have made substantial investments into RDM over the past years. Most products exported by RDM is artillery ammunition. which is category 1. The export process in Germany also takes time like in South Africa where the a few Ministers are also involved in the process of the permit approval. The presentation concluded with an overview of Rheinmetall’s focus on sustainable projects, including charging sockets, heat pumps and Hydrogen production and storage.


11.2      Discussion by the Committee


During the engagement, Members of the Committees raised the following questions:


  • Members questioned how Rheinmetall remained profitable and operational during periods of lower defence spending. It was noted that, in times of lower defence expenditure, Rheinmetall diversified its production and international clientele. It also shifted focus to innovation. For example, if started to focus on sustainability through technological progress. This is used to focus on electrification and locating the company in the context of Net Zero. It also commenced with a Hydrogen production facility with a strong focus on developing this in South Africa.
  • Members asked Rheinmetall for its general views on the arms control regime in Germany. The Rheinmetall representatives indicated that, in terms of exports, Rheinmetall remains committed to export requirements and legalities with a clear focus on end-user certificates (EUC) due to responsibility to shareholders of the company and the German Government.
  • Members asked Rheinmetall for its general views on the arms control regime in South Africa. The Rheinmetall representatives indicated that, in the past, the experience with the NCACC has been good and previous delays were largely due to EUC interpretations by some clients. This has since been corrected. However, they indicated that the Rheinmetall contract with Poland and Türkiye have been with NCACC for one year without a decision and if this is not resolved shortly, it may result in the client (Poland) cancelling the contract of more than R2 billion exports from South Africa and put at risk further contracts which may affect more than 1 500 SMMEs.
  • Members further asked Rheinmetall for its view on the practical permit application processes in South Africa and its liaison with the DCAC. It was indicated that RDM has a good relationship with the NCACC and makes use of a central point of contact with the NCACC. They further noted that the permit application process was cumbersome in South Africa, as it is globally, including in Germany. Rheinmetall is willing to assist the DCAC to look for ways to improve the application processes and system. 
  • Members asked whether Denel have received any dividend payments from Rheinmetall. It was indicated that after the agreement, no Dividends were paid in lieu of reinvestments in the collaborative enterprise, technology transfers and skills development.
  • Members asked Rheinmetall on its relationship for with the SANDF. It was indicated that the SANDF largely uses legacy systems and legacy products. Thus, no new RDM products are in use by the SANDF. For example, the last artillery procurement from SANDF was in the 1990s. Ammunition only has a 10-year shelf life and while some of them can be repurposed and sold off, it would be more financially prudent to shift to a more modern technological system. Generally, RDM has a healthy relationship with the SANDF, but there is a need for upgrades in equipment and munitions.
  • Members questioned whether Rheinmetall foresees increased production and sales from RDM to Germany. The Rheinmetall representatives indicated that there are no apparent limitations on exports from South Africa to Germany. In fact, they noted further opportunities for RDM with various other countries in need of ammunition.
  • Members showed interest in the Rheinmetall cyber capabilities and, in the context of the proposed Cybersecurity Bill requested the company to assist South Africa in drafting the relevant legislation.


11.3      Visit to the Rheinmetall Unterluss facility


The Committees visited the Rheinmetall Unterluss facility on 27 June 2023 and were taken through the factories to observe the vehicle assembly facilities. The Committees were informed that the facility comprises an area of nearly 50km2. There are currently 2 200 employees with plans to increase this to
2 500. The facility also houses a large shooting range for testing of vehicles and turrets. It further conducts vehicle testing and qualifying. Members were exposes to the various ammunition produced for the vehicles under production in the facility as well as the various variants of vehicles under production for several countries.


During the visit, Members noted the impressive stature of the facility and the fact that it was a productive facility. Members observed the contrast to the previous PCDMV visit to Denel Land Systems which also boasts an impressive facility, but with little activity. Members therefore highlighted the need for Denel Land Systems to be brought back on track and for clarity to be provided around the future of the institution and important landward contracts such as Project Hoefyster. This is of specific relevant given the noticeable increased demand for military equipment globally, as observed by Members during the Study Tour.




When reviewing the activities and engagements of the Committees during the Study Tour, a number of overarching observations can be extracted related to the initial focus areas and objectives of the Study Tour.


Overarching observations around the Defence Industry:

  1. The Committees observed the importance of a vibrant domestic defence industry, its potential economic contributions and the strategic value to the defence readiness of a State.
  2. The Committees noted generally positive relationships between defence companies and the arms control regimes in Germany and South Africa. However, the Committees also noted frustrations in some long delays in the proclamation of a decision by the NCACC, as is the case in the export applications from RDM to Poland and Türkiye. There is also a clear need for improvement in the practical application processes and procedures, especially in South Africa. This observation amplifies the need for an electronic permit application system to be implemented as a matter of urgency by the DCAC.
  3. The Committees noted the willingness of German defence companies to maintain and expand their operations in South Africa, giving credence to the potential contribution of the defence industry to economic growth.
  4. The Committees were informed of very high quality defence products still being produced in South Africa. However, there is little to no acquisition of modern military technology and equipment by the SANDF. The Committee therefore observed that South Africa maintains the potential to produce world class military equipment, but lacks the resources to acquire these. Of specific concern to the Committees was the observation that the use of legacy systems by the SANDF is becoming increasingly costly and that defence companies may become increasingly unable to produce legacy munitions and equipment specifically for the SANDF at a reasonable cost.
  5. The Committees observed a general willingness of German naval companies to assist the SA Navy in an advisory role regarding its fleet maintenance. While the Committees have no intention in promoting any specific company, the Study Tour did demonstrate the potential value in strategic partnerships around naval maintenance where it is in the best strategic and financial interest of the Navy to do so.
  6. The Committees observed a clear need for better planning of equipment maintenance in the SANDF and that this must be appropriately funded. Clarity and certainty in this regard is not only essential to the SANDF for operational purposes, but also assist industry role-players in planning.


Overarching observations around force rejuvenation:

  1. The Committees observed a very coherent personnel management plan in the Bundeswehr that lends itself to creating long-term human resources sustainability and constant force rejuvenation. The Committees showed specific interest in the various contracting models of short-term, medium-term and career soldiers in the Bundeswehr. Moreover, the Bundeswehr demonstrated a sustainable model of exiting older personnel from the system in a responsible and humane way by supporting their transition to civilian life through a number of support measures.
  2. The Committees observed several levels of support by the Bundeswehr to assist soldiers leaving the military, including initiatives at finding job placements and reserving some positions in the civil service for former soldiers.
  3. The Committees observed a balanced Bundeswehr in personnel terms, specifically as it relates to the troop-to-general ratio of the Force.
  4. The Committees observed the importance of digital personnel management systems as well as the need to ensure the adequate protection of these systems and information.
  5. The Committees observed the value added to military educational facilities in the Bundeswehr. The Committees further observed that these institutions offer learning opportunities for soldiers from other countries where bilateral relations exist.
  6. In relation to military education, the Committees observed that a university degree was a prerequisite for becoming an officer in the Bundeswehr. Of interest was the fact that some of these subjects and degrees include transferable skills to the civilian sector. However, the Committee also observed high value placed on vocational training in the Bundeswehr with several such institutions and the willingness of the institution to provide such training to soldiers being exited from the system.
  7. The Committees observed the importance being given to the Reserve Force in the Bundeswehr and specifically the existence of a clear Reserve Force Strategy that determines the role and utilisation of the Reserves.
  8. The Committees noted the statement that since the end of conscription in Germany, there is a civil-military gap that is expanding, impacting on the ability of the Reserve Force to recruit members.
  9. The Committees observed that the Bundeswehr spends around 40% of its budget on personnel expenditure.


Additional overarching observations:

  1. The Committees observed the importance attached to Cyber Defence in Germany. In this sense, the Committees therefore expressed the need to finalise the Cybersecurity Bill in South Africa with a specific framework for Cyber Defence.
  2. The Committees observed that the geo-strategic situation in Europe has a significant impact on recent defence expenditure, as is reflected in the €100 billion special defence procurement package in Germany. While this makes comparison to the South African case difficult in its current form, it shows that years of limited investment in defence capabilities requires heightened levels of expenditure to recover lost capabilities. The Committees therefore notes the need for ongoing reinvestment in defence capabilities.
  3. Through engagement with naval shipyards in Germany and based on the previous work of the JSCD and PCDMV, the Committees observed the potential relevance of equipping the SA Navy with an Offshore Patrol Vessel capability as a more cost effective means of ensuring maritime security.
  4. The Committees observed the importance of using technology as force multipliers in the defence environment.




Based on its observations on the Study Tour, the Committees make the following recommendations:


  1. A central recommendation based on previous work of the PCDMV and JSCD as well as observations in Germany revolves around the need for stability in the SANDF’s personnel and related expenditure. The Committees therefore recommend that the DOD develops a new Human Resources management strategy or adjust the current strategy to ensure long-term stability in the SANDF’s personnel contingent by focusing specifically on force rejuvenation. It is recommended that this plan be developed in consultation with National Treasury and that the plan be fully funded to achieve the desired outcomes. Of specific importance to this recommendation is that the Strategy should create a permanent exist mechanism for older soldiers who will not advance in their military careers and that such an exit mechanism ensures a smooth transition to civilian life through, for example, vocational training, job placement and/or monetary assistance. The Strategy should be adapted for the unique socio-economic conditions in South Africa on the one hand and be fully aimed at creating long-term force rejuvenation and Compensation of Employees stability in the DOD.
  2. The Committees recommend that the development and finalisation of the Cybersecurity Bill be prioritised to ensure South Africa is better placed to respond to cyber threats and to direct the country’s Cyber defence capabilities. The Bill should make specific provision for Cyber Defence capabilities and the SANDF should be extensively consulted in this regard during the drafting of the Bill.
  3. While the Cybersecurity Bill is unlikely to be finalised soon, the Committees recommend that the SANDF continues to develop its Cyber Defence Capabilities and Doctrine.
  4. The Committees recommend to National Treasury to provide additional ring-fenced funding for the purposes of Cyber Defence development.
  5. The Committees recommend the urgent finalisation and implementation of the DCAC electronic permit application system and will request quarterly feedback from the DCAC in this regard.
  6. The Committees recommend that the SANDF and Armscor jointly conduct a review of legacy weapons systems that are currently in use in the SANDF where such systems require specific production of munitions for the SANDF. The SANDF and Armscor should then present a report to the JSCD on such systems and future related expenditure for ammunitions and upgrades against the cost of replacing such equipment with more modern systems. The high-level report, which should exclude sensitive details, should be submitted to the JSCD no later than 3 months following the tabling of this report.
  7. The Committees undertake to visit the Armscor Dockyard to observe the status of the facility and its ability to serve the SA Navy. The Committees will then be able to view the input from the Armscor Dockyard against input received from naval shipyards in Germany.
  8. The Committees again call on a final decision on the way forward for Project Hoefsyter to be decided as this will clearly impact on the future of Denel and will impact on the entire industry value chain in South Africa.
  9. The Committees encourage the SANDF to make use of training opportunities at German Military Universities through its standing bilateral relations and also consider exchange programmes with the German military at the South African Military Academy. Where relevant and of sufficient quality, similar learning opportunities with other countries should also be explored to ensure maximum international exposure to SANDF members.
  10. The Committees undertake, where possible, to visit some domestic defence industry facilities. While the Committees cannot conduct oversight of these facilities, a working understanding of their capabilities and concerns relates to the armament and force readiness of the SANDF.
  11. The Committees recommend that the PCDMV and JSCD of the 7th Parliament conduct a similar Study Tours to focus on personnel management and the maximisation of the defence industry. Progress made on the recommendations in this report should be reviewed against other case studies during the Study Tours of in the 7th Parliament.


The Committees express their gratitude to the South African embassy in Berlin and specifically the South African Military Attache, Col TV Lesejane-Ramapulane and her assistant, Ms C Samlenski, for their excellent support during the visit and their liaison with relevant counterparts and relevant engagements in Germany. The Committees further wish to thank the various industry role-players mentioned in this document for their willingness to engage with the Committees during the visit to Berlin. The Committees also express their appreciation to the support of the Content Advisor, Dr Wilhelm Janse van Rensburg, and the Committee Secretary, Nandipha Maxhegwana, for the professional level of support offered both in the administrative organisation of the Study Tour and further support during the tour itself. Finally, the Committees express its gratitude to Parliament’s Presiding Officers and the House Chairperson of the National Assembly for their support to conduct this Study Tour.


Report to be considered.