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TUESDAY, 4 MAY 2010
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the Old Assembly
Chamber at 14:04.
Acting Chairperson Mr A Mlangeni, as Chairperson, took the Chair and
requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or
Debate on Vote No 21 - Defence and Military Veterans:
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon Chairperson,
izithwalandwe, Ministers, Deputy Ministers here present, hon
members, ladies and gentlemen, at the end of last month I was
afforded a rare glimpse into the future, a glimpse of hope and
victory: hope, because I was able to see into a future in which
South Africa would be unencumbered by the past, by prejudice and by
bigotry; a future in which every child has the enormous advantage
only a country like ours can give. I saw victory over the
inequitable order of things as we have come to know it.
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I visited a range of our new recruits in the military in their
second month of training. Many of them were from extremely
disadvantaged backgrounds with absolutely no hope. Here they were
overcoming their adversities and inhibitions and proving that, given
the necessary opportunity and space, they too could succeed. In the
navy, for instance, were youth who had never been in water before –
most of them came straight from Limpopo. It was amazing to see how,
in the space of two months, they had not only overcome their fear of
water, but had learnt to swim and survive in water and are now being
taught to dive, paddle boats and read and interpret a map.
Above all, here we had youths that were learning in the most natural
way that the country belongs to all of us. Here we also had youths
from all classes and racial groups who had learnt that racial
integration is the most natural thing when faced with common
problems, common goals, common dangers and a common identity.
The forging of racial harmony was amazing to see. It was a victory
over the illogical. Here, a new bond was being crafted, a new
discourse that understood the strengths of each group and utilised
it for the greater good, where song had become part of the culture
of the navy, to motivate and unify. Here were white and Indian
children singing in Zulu - all in the space of two months. I
realised too that various racial groups that seemed unwilling to
join the Defence Force after 1994 were now finding it an attractive
place to be. It has been an exhilarating experience. And to the
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parents of those children in our care, that we are training, I want
to assure you that your children are in very good hands.
I left these places even more convinced that there could not be a
better equaliser in any society than the Defence Force; that there
could not ever be a better place or a better tool for most of the
problems we grapple with, including the skills shortage problem that
we complain about and the high rate of unemployment. I am convinced
there could not be another solution to the huge glut of unemployed,
disempowered and unskilled youth.
In his state of the nation address the President gave a graphic
analysis of the situation in our country. He indicated that we are
an extremely youthful country and, yet, not investing sufficiently
in its future. These are some of the disturbing figures that have
emerged: that there are more than 3 million young people who are
unemployed, presumably with no prospect whatsoever that they will be
absorbed into a labour market that continues to shrink; that 50% of
this group, which is between 18 and 24, are unemployed. Shocking
Having spent a year in this portfolio and having learnt what I have
learnt, I am formally proposing through Parliament that the country
consider the possibility of creating in the next year national
service in which all youth will be gradually absorbed into our
training facilities. [Applause.]
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What we are offering are skills that each would be able to build on.
We offer training in a discipline that would create a sector,
whether public or private, which is firmly grounded in a purposeful
sense of tomorrow. What we offer is education, in essential respect
for each individual and respect for authority - an element we would
all agree is not in abundance in our youth.
After due consultation with all the necessary stakeholders, we
intend to introduce a Bill that will provide the necessary legal
framework for the creation of this national service. This will not
be a compulsory national service, but an unavoidable service to the
Throughout the world the defence force, that great social equaliser,
is used for precisely the purpose that we propose to use it here
for. Young people are leaving school with no skills and with no
prospect of being absorbed into a labour market that is already
being glutted. Any television footage of service delivery protests
will show you that at the forefront of this, in great majority, are
our youth – with excessive energy, misdirected sometimes, a great
deal of anger and frustration etched on their faces. We as a country
can ill afford this generation that is angry. Our youth are an asset
and we must direct them properly.
History is replete with examples of how turning the youth into a
disciplined purposeful force can change the fortunes of a people.
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Our own history tells how, by using the age cohort system, King
Shaka of the Zulus harnessed the power of youth and changed the face
of the subcontinent forever.
Most of our cultures have a process of a coming of age. This
includes some initiation into responsible adulthood, where a line is
drawn between the childish ways of the past and purposeful and
responsible behaviour that is required of every citizen. We can do
that for this country, because that is the one thing we need - to
build a future for our development and our prosperity, a place where
the young unemployed can find skills, dignity, purpose and
This could be part of our essential education and, in partnership
with the Ministers of Higher and Training, Basic Education, and
Labour, we could create a seamless education system among compulsory
basic education, national service, skills training and tertiary
education, where access to education is not based on class. The
benefits to the youth are enormous; the benefits to society are
incalculable, and for the economy this means a solid bedrock that
will sustain our development.
Should we find that the idea is taken up by the people in our
country, we expect that in the next two years we could go ahead and
build the necessary capacity and infrastructure in the Defence
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I emphasise: this will not be a compulsory national service. We do
not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. On the other hand, we
do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water. There has
been a concern raised in the past about this concept — that, in
fact, if we militarise our youth, we would be turning them over to
society, highly trained to kill and a greater danger than before. We
can interrogate this concern and we will, it is hoped, be able to
show that this is not the experience of countries with military
service; that, quite the contrary, the greater danger is caused by
people who have no purpose, no discipline and who come across guns
that are so readily available in our society.
The past year has been an exceedingly eventful one for me, but one
in which we recorded enormous successes in the goals we had set
ourselves. In taking stock of our achievement in the last year, I
wish to cast your mind back to a promise I made when I appeared
before this august House in July 2009. In my maiden address at that
time, as Minister, I stated:
I want to assure the Defence Force that their conditions of
service are a concern. We are acutely aware that the state of
readiness of the SA Defence Force, SANDF, depends primarily on the
morale of our soldiers.
I went further to state that:
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We are considering making a request for a separate dispensation
for the Department of Defence that would allow us to creatively
deal with our own needs and the specificities of our own unique
The request was duly made to Cabinet and approved. We have gone a
long way in establishing a separate dispensation for the Defence
Force. Cabinet also approved the regulatory framework and mechanism
to govern and oversee the dispensation. The dispensation we have
been given has the authority and the regulatory mandate of the
Public Service Commission. Within this environment we have been able
to deal with a number of issues that are uniquely defence related,
and I believe we now have an environment in which we can deal with
our problems and in which we can provide enhanced conditions of
Soldiers are not workers. It is precisely because the Defence Force
is so different from all other arms of state that we demand that we
take extraordinary measures to enforce discipline. Soldiers are
responsible for lethal instruments of ultimate force and therefore
their conduct has had to be stipulated in the Constitution. Our
relationship with the state is not that of a worker; it is not
governed by an employment agreement, but by a solemn oath that is
undertaken by every soldier. This dispensation is regulated by a
Military Commission due to be legislated for, it is hoped, by the
end of this month.
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This dispensation has allowed us to restructure and enhance our
grievance mechanism, which will be further enhanced by the re-
establishment of the Office of the Military Ombud.
We have often been accused of wanting to treat the Defence Force as
special and different. These accusations are repeated with scorn and
with monotonous frequency. At one level it reflects a lingering
attitude, which prevailed when we took over in 1994 — we ourselves
had this particular perception. We had inherited a military state,
and in our quest to rein in the influence of the military, we
developed regulations aimed at bringing down the power of the
Defence Force. In doing so, we may have gone overboard and risked
compromising its strength, its capabilities and its uniqueness.
The Defence Force is special. We cannot deny that. They are special
because they take an oath that commits them to giving their lives,
should the need arise, in order that you and I may keep ours. No
country or nation worth its salt should expect any less from members
of its Defence Force. [Applause.] I wasn’t sure whether we were
applauding for the Defence Force or for Mr Selfe who has just come
in. [Laughter.] I am certain there is no comparison there.
The SA National Defence Force is a proud and disciplined force
because that is its constitutional prescript. This is precisely why
I am still distraught that some of our soldiers went on an illegal
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march to the Union Buildings in August 2009. We will not allow ill
discipline in our ranks, ever, because it destroys the most
fundamental premise of a soldier. We will retain our culture and not
allow anyone to defile our image and the honour of our profession.
Our commitment as the state, to the Defence Force is complete and
unconditional and will not be decided by any ill-disciplined
soldier. The relationship the state has with its soldiers is unique
and based on an exceptional amount of trust and responsibility. It
requires of the state an enormous investment in each member, both in
their conditions of service and education and training. We have been
working on this over the past year and have made significant
progress in a number of areas. We still have serious challenges in
the Defence Force, most of which are as a result of serious
underfunding. If we do not invest in our Defence Force, we are doing
ourselves a grave injustice.
There are few components of the state which have such a high
calling, which demand selflessness, bravery in the face of danger,
the highest levels of discipline and absolute loyalty to the
In peacetime our defence is a force for good. When all else fails,
you can count on the Defence Force in providing whatever support is
required for the state. When faced with disaster, with strikes,
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whether natural or man-made, we can count on these men and women in
uniform to come to provide humanitarian assistance.
Who can forget the rescue mission our forces carried out during the
floods in Mozambique in 2000? Who amongst us can forget the image of
the child born in a tree and her miraculous rescue by our special
forces? We have the child here with us, Chairperson, if you would
allow me to ask her to stand up. [Applause.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Thank you, thank you,
thank you. You may sit down. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Chairperson, she is
our child that we rescued under the most extreme conditions, and a
child whose birth was beamed across the world as a wonder of the
Defence Force. We have here with us the two helicopter pilots who
rescued her mother. I ask that Mr Klopper stand up ... [Applause.]
... and, Mr Chris Berlyn, stand up please ... [Applause.] ... and
the medical officer who delivered the child, Dr Nengovhela.
[Applause.] Today, I am the mother of another child that was born in
wonderment, and we have adopted young Rosita as a member of the
Defence Force family. She has become a symbol of the commitment of
and everything the SANDF represents: technical skills and expertise;
humanity; bravery; discipline; and empathy for the plight of those
less fortunate than ourselves in difficulty. This is what we strive
for at all times. [Applause.]
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We are continually working to ensure that our military is infused
with all these noble values. This is the culture we insisted on in
our new democracy, because this is the culture that we had when we
struggled for freedom. We follow a very proud tradition of our
military veterans, sons and daughters of Africa, who sacrificed
their lives for us to be here today, living in peace and harmony and
security. We can only hope that they look at us with the same pride
as a continuation of their work, as we look at them with pride and
However, Chairperson, allow me to digress on this point. Sadly, even
though these military veterans have made such sacrifices for us to
be here today, we have not, unfortunately, given them the most basic
honour that they deserve: a life of retirement in dignity. I was
horrified to learn that the matter of the pensions due to them, that
would enable them to live out their retirement in some acceptable
level of comfort, had not been finalised.
Here are people who fought for our struggle and they are unable to
pay the bonds of their houses. Some of them are living in shacks.
The agreements on their pensions, forged during the negotiations
process that ushered in our democracy and which was endorsed by
successive Cabinets, have not been implemented. The basic principle
of caring for our veterans has not been adhered to. It should be of
great concern to all of us that 15 years down the line, we have not
honoured our commitment to these outstanding people.
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I therefore took the unconventional step of calling my chiefs on
Sunday and begging for money from their meagre budgets to fulfill
this right. All of Sunday and Monday the Military Command Council
met to discuss this unusual posture of a begging Minister, but it
worked. My knees are a bit grazed, but it worked.
It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce to all our
nonstatutory force military veterans that we are now able to make
adjustments in our budget to ensure that we can provide you with a
pension on which you can live. [Applause.] This will be implemented
incrementally, and the first adjustment will be done this month on
15 May. [Applause.] I may add that any of the military veterans is
free to take me out to lunch; they can afford it now. [Laughter.]
My sincere gratitude goes to Gen Ngwenya, Military Command Council,
the Secretaries of Defence and their staff, as well as my advisers
for making this possible. And when I say the whole of Sunday and
Monday, I really mean the whole of Sunday and Monday. They really
went out of their way to ensure that today we are able to give
honour to our veterans.
I did digress, Chairperson, but it was necessary and I am glad you
allowed me to, because this is a major breakthrough for our military
veterans right now. The Deputy Minister, who is responsible for the
new Department of Military Veterans, will deal in greater detail
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with the work we have put in place to ensure that we can honour
However, as I was saying, hon members will recall, we wasted no time
in establishing the Interim National Defence Force Service
Commission last year whose members, I hope, are with us here because
I am extremely grateful for the work that they’ve put in. The
commission has done sterling work over the past year and we are
already implementing three of its proposals, which I shall now
proceed to read. The first one: the commission recommended and
worked on a draft Bill to enact the permanent National Defence Force
Service Commission. We hope the Bill will go through the
parliamentary process in this month. This will give our dispensation
the legal status that it requires.
The second recommendation is related to the improvement of the basic
salaries of members of the SANDF from salary levels 2 to 12. The
President, as Commander-in-Chief, announced the increases in
December 2009. This directive was effected immediately with salary
increases ranging from 2% to 65% for all members of the SANDF on
this level, with effect from 1 December 2009. We have done this as
part of our commitment to ensuring that members of the SANDF are
remunerated at levels that are in line with their responsibility and
our responsibility towards them. And because we had a new
dispensation, this was possible.
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The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Minister, your time has
expired. I will give you one extra minute.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: I know. But the best
is still to come. The work of the interim commission has resulted in
our being able to announce now that we owe those soldiers between
salary levels 2 to 12 back pay because the recommendation was that
they would be paid from 1 July. How this will be done will be worked
out with them.
Thirdly, the Occupational Specific Dispensation has been granted to
us by the commission, and this we are extremely grateful for and we
will be giving this out with effect from 15 May.
Chairperson, I did wish I could say more because we have
accomplished more. All we ask from members here is: Please consider
that the Defence Force is stretched beyond its capacity. The Defence
Force has very meagre resources. We ask you for now to accept this
budget while you work on ways in which we can improve this. I thank
you most sincerely. [Applause.]
Mr M S BOOI: Chairperson, Minister and the different heads of the
Defence Force and hon members, as the portfolio committee we still
want to thank the Minister for the leadership she is providing
within the Defence Force overall. We also would like to illustrate
and explain that a perception is being created or a motive that we
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seem not to understand as the portfolio committee. The first thing
that we really want to put into perspective is our interaction with
the Ministry. If we don’t do that, the perception that the Minister
seems not to come to Parliament will continue to grow. We were
totally taken aback on the day when the statement that she wants to
shun Parliament became public.
On the day the Minister made a statement about her engagement with
the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, she was within the
parliamentary precincts. She made that statement while next to me in
a portfolio committee of Parliament. Now it seems as if there is a
misconstruing of how Parliament is constituted. We think it is very
important for us because, as we deal with issues of accountability,
we should be able to explain this type of relationship.
The portfolio committee calls, monitors and plays an oversight role,
and I must say, at this particular moment, that last year we had
about 20 meetings with the Minister. This year, in the fourth term
of Parliament, we already have nine engagements with her. So the
Minister does remain accountable to Parliament through the portfolio
committee. There is no way that that relationship should be
How the Minister relates to Scopa is a different matter. We have
been able to go to that particular ... [Interjections.] No, no.
Ellis, I will give you a lecture about that. It’s my job. I know
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that. [Interjections.] What I’m saying is that ... No, no, I know
that all portfolio committees, as instructed by the Constitution,
are supposed to relate in that particular manner. But, at the end of
the day, the responsibility of that committee is to deal with
financial matters. The portfolio committee has an overall duty of
looking over the Ministry. So there is no way that she could have
abstained from that responsibility.
In essence, when we looked into the correspondence, to what is
exactly going on there ...
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Is that a point of order?
Mr M J ELLIS: It is a point of order, Madam.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Please take your seat, hon
Booi. What is your point of order, hon member?
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Chair, on a point of order: It would appear that
the hon Booi is making particular statements about what the
Minister’s function is and what various portfolio committees’
functions are, when, in fact, he is not in a position to do that.
There are Rules of Parliament that state very clearly what a
Minister’s responsibilities to committees are. I cannot believe that
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what the hon member is saying here is, in fact, parliamentary.
Certainly, it is not correct and, therefore, not parliamentary
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, that’s not a
point of order. He is expressing his opinion on the matter. So, hon
Mr M S BOOI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Chair, seriously: May I ask the hon Booi to
speak into his microphone better. [Interjections.] This is a serious
request. Please speak into the microphone so that we can hear you
Mr M S BOOI: Look, hon member, I respect you, but I also want you to
give respect to what I’m saying. I’m saying that you must listen to
me. I give you respect and I expect you to respect me.
[Interjections.] No, no, what I’m saying is true. It’s a true
reflection because I have engaged with the staff of Parliament to
get clarity on the matter of how Scopa versus the portfolio
committee is working. So I don’t know what you are talking about.
I’m not sucking facts out of my thumb here. I’m dealing with facts -
I have gone out of my way to make sure that we understand our two
roles. It is important to me, when I deal with this matter, that I
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am able to clarify for myself what my responsibility is and what
Scopa’s responsibility is, and how that engagement guides us. I also
need to clarify how that engagement guides us because it is
important for the broader public and the soldiers to understand
whether the Minister is shunning Parliament or not. [Interjections.]
I’m saying it’s my responsibility; there is nothing wrong in doing
that. I’m a member of this Parliament and I’ve got a responsibility
to clarify myself.
What I’m saying is that, in discharging our responsibility as the
portfolio committee, the Ministry has engaged with us about 29
times. The Ministry has remained accountable to the portfolio
committee. This responsibility, which the Minister is meeting, is
something which we really welcome and support. So if the newspapers,
and or any other person, say that the Minister is not responsible,
that she is not coming to Parliament, that is a blue lie. It is a
matter of fact, in the correspondence that I have looked into, that
she was called to come to and observe those particular meetings.
In reflection, it should be clearly said that if you want to summon
a particular Minister, you need to be able to say why you are
summoning him or her. I wanted to solicit a response from the
Minister in order for me to know whether it was within her
parliamentary responsibilities or whether it was part of our own. I
also want to know whether this was about A400 or not. It was clear
to me that the way the Minister conducted herself has been very
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honourable and very supportive. I support her in the efforts that
she has made. [Interjections.] We will always be going ... That’s
part of the budget. We are talking about matters of accountability;
that is, how do we remain accountable to the institution itself.
The next matter that we need to deal with is the issue of
transformation. The Minister has done a very good job and, in the
past 15 years, there has been a lot of good progress with regard to
issues of gender and race. There has been quite a lot of progress
that has been made with regard to those particular issues.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon members, can we have
one debate. Please give him a hearing.
Mr M S BOOI: We continue to say that the role that the Military
Skills Development System, MSDS, is playing in building and
strengthening the SA National Defence Force, which is currently
known as the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, is one
issue that we should be able to put our hands together in
congratulations to the system. It is exactly doing what has been
expected of it. The MSDS is improving the skills development and are
rejuvenating what the Department of Defence and Military Veterans is
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The Bill that seeks to bring together the regular and the reserve
force, which the Minister is putting in front of us, is a Bill that
we think is going to be helpful to the Department of Defence and
Military Veterans. That is a very progressive step. Minister, you
understand matters of constitutionality and legislation, and that’s
why I like you sometimes. Through that legislation you are providing
for empowerment, because you are saying that we must bring the
reserve force and regular force together so that we can build a
stable force. That is a development that we welcome as it will take
us a little bit more forward. It will also give more confidence to
the MSDS in that when their term comes to an end, they will have a
role to play within the SANDF.
Furthermore, one of the most important things that you have done
during the past year, Minister, is assist us in taking the soldiers
back to the borders. We welcome that effort. That is one effort that
has really benefited us. [Applause.] You have accomplished what we,
as Members of Parliament in the Third Parliament, have all been
grumbling about. You have been able to understand that the role of
the SANDF is to defend the sovereignty of South Africa. That is a
very important and crucial development for us.
What we have seen on the borders and what we have reflected upon –
one of our members will be able to give more substance to that – is
an effort that we know has been made, in that I have gone to the
appropriation to motivate for more. This is because one of the
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citizens of South Africa said to us – something which you have been
complaining about, David – that the 250 times that have been given
to the Air Force is not enough. Something has to be done in terms of
that time. That is why the Ministry and all of us are saying that,
because we have missed that opportunity of being able to get the
budget for the border development, we should be able to try and
motivate for that. It is going to be important.
What we have seen on the borders, something which our members are
going to explain, is really telling us a very sad story about the
decisions that we have made in the past. If somebody can steal a 4x4
in Cape Town in the morning and in the afternoon that particular 4x4
is in Mozambique — as it is, with its number plates — that reflects
very badly on us as citizens or the type of criminals who commit
such crimes. It clearly shows that there is a syndicate that is
running this racket.
Therefore your decision, Madam Minister, of sending soldiers back to
the borders, I must say, is very welcome. It is an effort that will
enable us to call upon every member who is here to debate today to
understand and be able to motivate for the budget that we are
Minister, you have also spoken about the military discipline, which
is another piece of legislation that you are putting in front of us.
That is a constitutional obligation. We have to be able to assist
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ourselves. As we were engaging and interacting with the SANDF, I
urged members that we should look at discipline. Among the problems
that confronted us during the strike, or whatever happened at the
Union Buildings, were accusations that the generals had been
misbehaving and that was why there was that type of conduct. But we
got a different impression from our border engagement, where we had
a military high command led by Gen Ngwenya of the Defence Force.
Gen Ngwenya was there himself. He led the high command. He gave us
an opportunity to engage and observe the discipline of the generals
themselves. They were highly disciplined. We can’t say it in any
other way. They set a very good example to us in the way that they
organised and prepared everything. Chief of the Defence Force, we
are very thankful for how you organised that. We say you should keep
But that does not mean that we should not improve. As the Minister
also says, the way in which we look at the institution of the SANDF
and its uniqueness and the fact that the Constitution emphasises the
question of discipline, means that we should re-emphasise and
strengthen discipline. This will ensure that those who are coming
into the SANDF, as young as they are, understand that constitutional
obligation. They must also understand the fact that we really want
the SANDF to remain a very disciplined force in our times.
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The service commission that we are putting in place and the
legislation that is going to be passed to make it a permanent
development within the SANDF ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, on 15 April 2010 members of the
Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans finally broke
out of our parliamentary barracks to spend the day at sea on board
on one of our warships, the SAS Mendi. One could not help being
impressed by Captain Bravo Mhlana, Commander Graham Walker and the
young and diverse crew of the SAS Mendi who represent everything
that is good, not only about the SA Navy, but about the whole SA
National Defence Force. [Applause.]
I would like to begin by recognising the loyal, disciplined,
professional members of our Defence Force, many of whom have joined
us here today, who serve under very difficult conditions, sometimes
in the most dangerous conflict zones in the world. Whether you are
from the army, the air force, the navy or the military health
service, we can only say thank you, thank you, thank you for your
service in our country. [Applause.]
The Minister was appointed a year ago, and since then she has
notched up some impressive achievements. This includes the
appointment of a permanent civilian Secretary of Defence, Mpumi
Mpofu, who takes command of the Defence Secretariat on 1 June 2010.
This also includes the employment of the Defence Force to safeguard
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our maritime, landward and air borders, the tough action taken
against soldiers who protested the review of soldiers’ service
conditions, the commitment to deunionisation and the subsequent
appointment of the interim National Defence Force Service
Commission. Anybody who doubts the Minister’s commitment to
achieving outcomes should know that she has promised that if there
is not a clean audit this year, there will not be enough towels to
wipe the blood off the floor. [Applause.]
The fact is that things are moving, perhaps not always in the right
direction, but things are moving. The Minister, the Deputy Minister
and all the staff deserve credit for what has been achieved this
On 26 August 2009, more than a 1 000 soldiers, most of them from the
army, went on a rampage in front of the Union Buildings. Of course,
we should never forget that thousands more soldiers remained loyal,
disciplined and professional and did not march on the Union
Buildings. But, the fact is that on that day we were faced with the
grim spectacle of soldiers, some of them armed with knobkieries,
toyi-toying through the streets, brandishing placards, shouting
slogans and torching vehicles. The soldiers who went on the rampage
did irreparable harm, diminishing the already diminished reputation
of the Defence Force, but they also focused political minds firmly
on the state of the SA National Defence Force. I regret to say,
however, that the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military
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Veterans knows very little about the state of the Defence Force,
because the Minister has surrounded it with a ring of virtually
impenetrable steel. You will all be aware that the Minister
currently finds herself at the bottom of a deep and very muddy
parliamentary foxhole following her decision to absent herself from
the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Rather than stop digging and conceding that she is wrong on this
issue, the Minister has instead chosen to lob a political smoke
grenade into Parliament, designed to obscure and confuse the fact
that, in fact, she can be summoned by the Standing Committee on
Public Accounts, Scopa. Of course, this is not an isolated incident;
it is instead part of a pattern of accountability-busting behaviour
for which the Minister is becoming very well known.
The Minister’s approach to Parliament comes right out of ―Yes,
Minister‖, where officials believe that if people do not know what
you are doing, they don’t know what you are doing wrong. The
Minister’s own defence policy reads that the Department of Defence
and Military Veterans recognises that it has a positive duty to
provide sufficient information to ensure adequate parliamentary and
public scrutiny. The Defence Force’s central argument is that it is
underfunded, which creates capability gaps which, in turn, result in
risks to our national security. The key question therefore must be:
What are these capability gaps and what risks are there to our
national security? The short answer to that question is that we
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 26 of 99
still don’t know because a year after this matter was raised, we
still have not been briefed on the combat-readiness of the Defence
We have never been briefed on the service conditions within the
Defence Force, the salary increases and how they were funded, or on
acquisition of capital equipment for the Defence Force. We have
never been briefed on the Defence Force’s operation in support of
the police for the 2010 World Cup. We have never received copies of
the interim report, especially the so-called ticking time-bomb
report produced by the Interim National Defence Force Service
Commission. And we have never received a copy of the report from the
Ministerial Task Team on Military Veterans.
My requests to visit military bases — Doornkop Military Base, Lenz
Military Base and various other military formations — were
effectively ignored. My parliamentary questions are hardly ever
replied to. More than 10 parliamentary questions were not replied to
last year and more than 20 parliamentary questions have not been
replied to this year. Why does this happen? It happens because the
Minister has tendencies, not the sort of tendencies that the hon
Stella Ndabeni’s leader Julius Malema likes to talk about, but
deeply authoritarian tendencies.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 27 of 99
The Minister is simply not hard-wired for democracy, because when
the Minister is faced with a choice between secrecy and
transparency, you can bet the Minister will always choose secrecy.
The truth is that there has been so much democratic roll-back in the
Defence department that the Minister is in danger of becoming a
modern-day Magnus Malan. [Interjections.]
The fact is that the Minister’s approach has done serious damage to
the relationship between the Defence department and Parliament, and
it has left members of the portfolio committee in the dark about the
true state of the Defence Force, forcing us to join the dots rather
like Cold War Kremlinologists ―reading the tea leaves‖.
Our Defence Force is clearly on its chin straps. A recent assessment
by Jane’s Defence Weekly told us that the SA National Defence Force
is ―in crisis‖. The article goes on to tell us that the Defence
Force ―is in danger of becoming moribund‖, ―incapable of major
operations‖ and is ―clearly in decline‖. The crisis in the Defence
Force, however, is perhaps best illustrated by the state of the Air
Force. Don’t listen to me; listen to Gen Carlos Gagiano, the Chief
of the SA Air Force, who reported last year that ―Until such time
that additional funding can be allocated ... the SA Air Force will
only be able to sustain around 2 000 Hawk flying hours per year
versus the required 4 000 flying hours per year ... and the impact
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being that ... the Gripen System will only be able to be minimally
implemented post June 2010‖.
What does this mean? It means that we have spent R15,7 billion on
fighter jets that we cannot properly maintain and operate. This has
happened, in part, because funds have been sucked out of
―operations‖ and they have been sucked out of ―acquisition‖ in order
to pay for the ballooning costs of personnel.
We gather the army can now only afford to field four companies, that
is, about 580 soldiers on our borders. The navy can only afford to
sail one ship on coastal patrol on a given day and the air force can
only keep two operational Gripen fighters flying.
And what does this all mean? It means, in effect, that we have a
barracks-bound army, a harbour-bound navy and a hangar-bound air
force. The Defence Force is now in serious danger of being reduced
to an armed welfare organisation, whose primary purpose is to
provide employment rather than security. [Interjections.]
The Minister, in introducing the idea of voluntary national service,
appears to have morphed into the Minister of Labour. The idea of
voluntary national service will have to be extensively debated. But
the real question is: Where are the resources going to come from,
and will this not further reinforce the armed welfare role of our
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Defence Force? There is clearly an operating budget shortfall, and
we need to deal with it as a matter of urgency.
A comprehensive analysis of defence spending by way of an
independent audit should be conducted so that we can find ways of
decreasing spending on support and increasing spending on
operations, because too often we spend our bucks on bling rather
than spending our bucks on bang.
Is it really necessary, for example, for the Defence Force to spend
money on a VIP lounge at the O R Tambo International Airport, on a
fleet of luxury vehicles because foreign military officers cannot be
transported, in the words of one official, in a mere ―Uno‖, and on
36 military attachés who serve in all sorts of obscure nooks and
crannies all around the world?
We must find ways to reallocate resources within the existing budget
towards the sharp end of the Defence Force. The Defence department’s
central argument, as I have mentioned before, is that, despite an
allocation of R30,7 billion, the Defence Force is underfunded by
R7,3 billion in the 2010-11 financial year. That may be, but the
hard fact is this: the Defence department has never produced a
credible case. In fact, it has never produced a case to review the
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 30 of 99
The Department of Defence’s draft policy document, entitled Defence
Update 2035, which should form the foundation of the Department of
Defence’s case and which has cost millions of rand to produce over
the past five years, seems to have been buried and will not, we are
told, see the light of day any time soon.
Never in the history of defence policy-making have so many laboured
so long to produce so little. [Laughter.] But instead of a credible
case, the Defence department argues that the Defence budget should
be increased to approximately 1,8% of our GDP, because that is the
average military burden in the developing world. This is, I am sure
you will agree, a spectacular nonargument and, frankly, complete and
What it reveals is that the real problem at the Defence department
is not a budget deficit. The real problem at the Defence department
is a leadership deficit. The Defence department seems to have lost
its way. The strategy seems to be to fill the next pothole in our
pathway. That is why we need strong political leadership that is
able to put an end to the ―amateur heurism‖ we have become used to
and pull the Defence Force up by its bootstraps. There is no doubt
that the Defence Force needs a major overhaul and should be put to
There should be no review of the defence budget until the Defence
department complies with the following conditions: submitting a
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Green Paper on Defence to Parliament in order to reset our 14-year-
old defence policy; conduct a strategic defence review to rebalance
the force design, force structure, human resource levels and defence
acquisition priorities; and, most important of all, the Minister
needs to voluntarily climb out of the parliamentary foxhole she
finds herself in and begin to build trust and break down suspicion
by being properly accountable to Parliament. I thank you.
Mna L J TOLO: Mohlomphegi Modulasetulo, maloko ao a hlomphegago,
Tona ya tša Tšhireletšo le Bagale ba Sešole, Motlatša Tona wa tša
Tšhireletšo le Bagale ba Sešole le mohlomphegi Booi, re le baCope,
re thekga ditekanyetšo tša Kgoro ya tša Tšhireletšo le Bagale ba
Ke rata go laetša gore ke ka lebaka la eng re thekga ditekanyetšo
tše. Eupša pele ke eya fao, e re ke le tsebiše gore go bolela nnete
re be re tšwile maloba re ile kua ntle ga naga. Seo re se bonego ge
re le fao bagagešo se laeditše go amogela gore batho ba Afrika-Borwa
kamoka ga bona ba swanetše go ba ngata e tee. Ge re thoma re bolela
ka mašole, re bolela ka tšhireletšego ya rena ka moka. Ge o bala
puku ya Baahlodi kgaolo ya bošupa ka Bebeleng e laetša gore mašole
ke dibetša; ke bao ba hlophilwego ke Modimo go šireletša setšhaba.
Ka gona go bohlokwa gore re be ngatana ye tee.
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Ge re le kua mollwaneng, a mangwe a mašole a šupile gore ke Tona ya
Tšhireletšo le Bagale ba Sešole feela yeo e ilego ya etela mellwane
gomme ya rwala kefa letšatšing ya hlehla e lekola legora la mollwane
go tloga ka 1994 go fihla lehono. Ka gona bagagešo, wo e bile mošomo
Re le baCope re thekga ditekanetšo tše. Eupša re rata ge nkabe di ka
hlatlošwa gape. [Legoswi.] Re bolela se ka lebaka la gore go sa na
le dinyakwa tšeo di lego gona go dira gore kgoro ye e kgone go ba
gabotse. Legora la go lekana dikilometara tše nne go ya go tše hlano
le ripilwe kua mollwaneng wa Afrika-Borwa le Mozambique gomme
dikoloi di ntšhwa fao, gape le mahodu magareng ga dinaga tše pedi
tše a tšwa gona fao. Ge re be le fao letšatšing leo, mašole a ile a
re laetša mehlala ya dikoloi tšeo di ka bago di tšerwe e sa le
bošego gomme tša tshelela ka Mozambique.
Se sengwe gape ke gore difofane tšeo re bego re sepela ka tšona ke
tša kgale tša go hloka diruthufatša/dihlaboša-moya le dintlwana tša
go ithomela ka gare ga tšona. Moya ga o tsene le go tsena ka gare.
Go nyakega gore go be tšhelete ya go reka dilo tše. Bagagešo, ge re
sa hlokomele gabotse - ke šia go bolela mekgatlo ya majelathoko yeo
e hlolago meferefere lefaseng - ka le lengwe la matšatši re tla
makatšwa ke pomo go tšwa go mekgatlo ye mengwe ge go ka lemogwa
mokgwa wo wa go šwahlela ka mo Afrika-Borwa. Le a e tseba mekgatlo
ye ke bolelago ka yona. Go nyakega gore go šireletšege e le ka nnete
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 33 of 99
Ke lebogile mašole ka taetšo ya bona ya go iphsina ka go šireletša
naga ya ga bobona. Go bolela nnete, ge e le maphodisa wona ga a dire
ka tsela ye — ga re re re a senya — maphodisa ga se a bone fao
legora le le ripilwego gona. Ke mašole ao a tlilego a re lemoša gore
dikoloi di tsene kae. Ka fao, go laetša gabotse gore batho ba ba
šoma ka tshwanelo.
Beng baka, re batho bao ba ka lekanago dimilione tše 39 go ya go tše
40 mo Afrika-Borwa. Re na le mašole ao a ka lekanago dikete tše 74
ge ke sa foše — Tona o tseba ka se go mpheta. Eupša ba re hlokometše
ka moka ga rena. Re rata ge ditekanyetšo tše di ka rotošwa. Tona o
ile a laetša seyalemoyeng gore go kaone ge mohlomongwe re ka hwetša
dipilione tše nne. Nna ke re re ka thaba ge Tona a ka di oketša go
feta fa. [Legoswi.]
Ga ke tsebe dithunya gabotse, efela ke dumela gore Tona o di tseba
gabotse. Ke ile ka kwa ba botšiša mokgalabje yo mongwe wa bagolo ba
mašole dipotšišo letšatši le lengwe ge ke theeleditše seyalemoyeng.
Ba be ba mmotšiša ka ga dithunya tše dingwe tšeo e lego gore mašole
a swanetše go di šomiša nakong ya tlhahlo, eupša o ile a laetša gore
ba ka se kgone go šomiša dithunya tše nakong ya tlhahlo ka lebaka
la gore ge ba ka di šomiša, go ka se be le tšhelete ya go reka tše
dingwe. Bjale, ga go nyakege gore mašole a thome go šomiša dibetša
ge go šetše go befile. Tšhelete e swanetše gore e be gona gore
dibetša ka moka di kgone go ba gona, gomme mašole a hlahliwe ka
tšona. [Legoswi.] Se se tla dira gore ge bothata bo fihla e be gore
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 34 of 99
ba na le maitemogelo ka ga tšona. Ntle le mo, motho o tla re a sa
lebelelane le tša gore sethunya se beakanywa bjang, ya ba gore
lenaba la gagwe le šetše le mo thuntšhitše. Ka gona, re swanetše re
kopane tabeng ye.
Dikgoro ka moka di bohlokwa. Le nkwe gabotse, ga ke re dikgoro tše
dingwe ga di bohlokwa. Bjalo ka monna wa Mopedi, ka segagešo ge
monna a nyaka go aga motse o nyaka monna goba mosadi wa ngaka gore a
tle a thee motse gore dikebekwa le batho ba kotsi ba se tsene
motseng wa gagwe. [Legoswi.] Se se dira gore bana ba robale gabotse
gomme go se be le mathata. Le rena mo Afrika-Borwa, ge re nyaka go
thea motse wa rena gore re robale gabotse le bana ba rena re iketle
ntle le mathata, re swanetše go thekga Kgoro ye ya tša Tšhireletšo
le Bagale ba Sešole ka maatla. Ge re na le mašole ao a se nago
maatla bagagešo, re kotsing ka moka ga rena - go sa lebelelwe gore o
wa mokgatlo ofe wa dipolitiki. Seo se lego gona ke gore re swanetše
go thekga batho ba gore ba kgone go tšwela pele mošong wa bona.
Go na le seo ke ratago go se botša Tona. Ngwagola ka kgwedi ya
boraro ke le kua gae monyanyeng, ke ile ka bona ngwanenyana a apere
yunifomo ya mašole. O be a efa batho magobe. Ka ge ke le leloko la
komiti ya tša mašole ke ile ka kwa ke ekwa bose gomme ka mmitša ka
re: Ngwanenyana wa ka, na o šomela kae? O ile a mpotša gore ga se
lešole. Ke ile ka motšiša ka ga yunifomo yeo a bego a e apere ka ge
e be e swana le ya mašole. O ile a re ke ya lesogana la gagwe. Ke
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 35 of 99
ile ka mmotšiša gore lesogana la gagwe le kae gomme a ntšhupetša
Re le ba Cope, re bonela pele le morago. [Tšhwahlelo.] [Legofsi.]
[Nako e fedile.] (Translation of Sepedi speech follows.)
[Mr L J TOLO: Hon Chairperson, hon members, the Minister of Defence
and Military Veterans, the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military
Veterans and hon Booi, Cope supports the budget for the Department
of Defence and Military Veterans.
I would like to indicate the reason for supporting the budget. Let
me first indicate that we went abroad and what we saw there proved
that all South Africans have to be united. When we speak of the
soldiers we refer to the security of the country. Judges chapter 7
in the Bible indicates that the soldiers were chosen by God to
protect the nation.
Some of the soldiers indicated when we were at the border that from
1994 until today it is only the Minister of Defence and Military
Veterans who visited the border and walked in the sun along the
border with a cap on her head, checking the border fence. This is
Cope supports this budget even though we don’t think it is enough.
[Applause.] There are still other things needed for this department
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 36 of 99
to function effectively. A border fence of a distance of about four
to five kilometres has been removed between South Africa and
Mozambique. Cars are smuggled between the two countries through that
gap. On the day we visited the border the soldiers showed us tracks
of cars that might have been smuggled during the night into
We also boarded old aeroplanes that had neither air conditioners nor
toilets. There was no air coming into the aeroplanes. We need money
to ensure that air conditioners and toilets are made available in
these aeroplanes. If we are not careful — I do not want to mention
the names of terrorist organisations that cause chaos in the world -
one day we are going to be surprised by a bomb from one of these
organisations, should they be aware of the gap. You know the
organisations I am talking about. There has to be strong security at
I salute the soldiers for proving that they enjoy their work of
protecting their country. To be honest, the police force is not
doing enough — I am not trying to create any chaos — but they are
not aware of the gap. The soldiers were the ones to show it to us.
This shows their commitment to their work.
South Africa has a population of 39 to 40 million. If I am not
mistaken, we have about 74 000 soldiers - the Minister of Defence
and Military Veterans knows better about this. These soldiers are
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 37 of 99
looking after all of us. We wish that the budget could be increased.
The Minister indicated on the radio that it would be better if the
department was allocated R4 billion; I think the Minister should
negotiate for more. [Applause.]
I do not know much about guns, but I believe the Minister knows
better about them. I once listened to a radio interview of an old
man who was a leader in the army. He was asked about guns that
soldiers should use in training and he said that they could not use
those guns for training because they could not afford to replace
them. There has to be enough money for all the weapons so that
training of soldiers includes the use of necessary weapons as well.
Lack of proper training on the use of guns puts the lives of
soldiers at risk. We therefore have to meet and talk about this
All the departments are equally important; I am not saying other
departments are not important. According to our culture as Bapedi,
when a man builds a house for his family, he invites a traditional
doctor to come and protect the house against criminals and
witchcraft. [Applause.] This will help the family members to sleep
peacefully. If we want to sleep peacefully in South Africa we have
to fully support the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. If
the soldiers are not properly trained, they put the lives of all the
citizens at risk, irrespective of what political party you belong
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 38 of 99
to. The soldiers also need our support to work efficiently.
I would like to tell the Minister that I saw a lady dressed in the
South African army uniform at a wedding back home in March 2009. She
was serving food. As a member of the Portfolio Committee on Defence
and Military Veterans I felt good about it and I asked the lady
where she works. She said that she was not a soldier, that the
uniform belonged to her boyfriend. I asked her where her boyfriend
was and she showed me. [Laughter.]
Cope members are visionaries. [Interjections.] [Applause.] [Time
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Sihlalo, neNdlu ehloniphekile, mhlonishwa neSekela
likaNgqongqoshe, namalungu ahloniphekile, ngithi asibonge kakhulu
umsebenzi owenziwa amasosha okugcina uxolo ngaphandle kwezwe
nangokusebenzisana kwawo ne-African Union kanye ne-United Nations.
Thina njengabantu balapha eNingizimu Afrika sikubonga kakhulu
ukusebenzisana kwamasosha aseNingizimu Afrika kanye nabanye ukudala
uxolo emzini nasezindaweni lapho lwalungekho khona uxolo ukuze kube
khona intando yeningi kanye nokuphilisana kwabantu. [Fundamental
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 39 of 99
Izinga lokulolongwa kwamasosha alapha kubukeka kusezingeni
eliphezulu kakhulu. Siyakuthokozela thina ukubona izintokazi
nezinsizwa zizimisela emsebenzini wazo ukuvikela izwe lazo nabantu
bakubo ezweni labo ukulandela umkhankaso u-Kgwele, lo mkhankaso
wokusivikela thina nale nendebe ezayo, yalomdlalo omkhulu.
Siyakuthokozela ukuthi kube khona inkece yokulekelela ukuze abantu
Nalaba abasebenza emanzini, siyakuthokozela ukuthi bawenze umsebenzi
wabo ukuze bakwazi ukuvimba laba bantu abafuna ukweba izinto
ezingamagugu ethu ezihlala emanzini. Futhi siyathokoza uma nalaba
abasemoyeni besebenzisa amahora abo okundiza ukuze baqinisekise
ukuthi sivikelekile lapha ezweni lethu iNingizimu Afrika. Ngoba
kusemqoka ukuthi sivikeleke thina zakhamizi zalapha eNingizimu
Okwesithathu siyakuthokozela thina beNkatha yeNkululeko ukuthi
umhlonishwa useze wawuvula uMnyango wokubhekana namasosha lawo
okwakukade eyibambile, lapha kubalwa lawo asekhululiwe nalawo akade
engakhululekile kahle - engenazo izindlela zokuphila. Kodwa sicela
ukuthi awuhlukanise lo Mnyango ube kabili ukuze bakwazi ukucosha
okubafanele. Siyakuthokozela futhi lokho okushiwo wumhlonioshwa
namhlanje ukuthi bazokwazi ukucosha yonke into abafanele ukuyicosha
ukuze bakwazi ukuthi baziphilise bona nezingane zabo ngoba balilwele
lelizwe ngalokho-ke kufanele ukuthi bakucoshe lokho okubafanele.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 40 of 99
Kuyisifiso sethu-ke thina njengeqembu leNkatha yeNkululeko ukuthi
siqinisekise ukuthi umhlonishwa enze isiqiniseko sokuthi nabangekho
kulolu hlelo babekhona ukuze bakwazi ukucosha konke lokhu okufanele
ukucosheka - kungacoshwa abathile kuphela kuthi abathile
Sikuthokozela kakhulu ukusebenza kwe-Landward Defence ngoba
iyimizamo yokuthi kuvinjwe ngakho konke ukungena kwabantu
ngokungemthetho lapha ezweni. Futhi ilekelela ikakhulukazi
amaphoyisa alapha eNingizimu Afrika ngoba anomthwalo nomsebenzi
omkhulu wokuthi abhekane nokuphepha kwabantu lapha ngaphakathi
ezweni. Nawo asehuduleke ngapha nangapha, kuguga amajazi eya le nale
kodwa kungcono ngoba aseyalekeleleka ukuba kube khona abezokuvikela
ukuba bakwazi ukugada emgceleni.
Ngakho-ke sicela ukuthi umhlonishwa akunakisise ukuthi konke loko
kuyenzeka ukuthi atholakale emgceleni ngaso sonke isikhathi ukuze
bakwazi ukuthi abantu bakithi bavikeleke. Laba abangafanele ukungena
bangangeni lapha ezweni. Laba okufanele baphindiselwe emuva,
baphindiselwe emuva kubo, ngoba banamakubo nathi sinamakithi.
Okokugcina mhlonishwa siphakamisa ukubonga ukuqashwa kwalaba abayi-
4000 abaqashwe nje ngoJanuwari ukuthi bakwazi ukusebenza babhekisane
umsebenzi, bakwazi ukukhulisa umsebenzi ikakhulukazi ukuvikela izwe.
(Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 41 of 99
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Chairperson, this august House, hon Minister, your
Deputy, and hon members, I am very thankful to the troops who are
keeping peace outside the borders of the country and also grateful
for their co-operation with the African Union and the United
We, the people of South Africa, are very thankful for the co-
operation of the South African army and others in maintaining peace
in the communities and in areas where it did not exist so that
democracy and harmony amongst humanity could prevail.
It looks as if our army’s level of training is very high. And we are
grateful to see women and men committed to their work of protecting
their country and its citizens in Operation Kgwele, the operation
that is meant to protect us and the coming big event, the World Cup.
We are also grateful that some funds were made available for people
who will be helping in this regard.
We are also grateful to the navy for doing its work in that they are
able to prevent people from poaching our precious marine assets. We
are also grateful to the air force for using their flight hours to
ensure that we are safe in our country, South Africa. It is
important that we, the citizens of South Africa, are safe.
Thirdly, we, as the IFP, are grateful that the hon Minister has
established a department that will look into the affairs of soldiers
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 42 of 99
who have served in the army for a long time, which includes all
those who are liberated and those who are actually not liberated —
those who do not have other means of living. But we request that
this department be divided into two so that these soldiers could be
accorded what is rightfully theirs. We are grateful for what the hon
Minister is saying today, that is that they will get the benefits
which they are entitled to in order for them to make a living for
themselves and their children, because they have fought for this
It is our wish, as the IFP, to ensure that the hon Minister ensures
that even those who are not in this programme are included so that
they too can get what they are entitled to — these benefits should
not be accorded to some people and not others.
We are also very grateful for the implementation of the Landward
Defence, because it is a means to prevent illegal immigrants from
entering this country. It also particularly assists the South
African police, because they have a very big task of ensuring
people’s safety in the country. They have been running from pillar
to post, until their coats were worn out, but it is better now that
they receive assistance from the army as it is now monitoring our
We, therefore, request the hon Minister to ensure that all this
happens and that the soldiers are always stationed at their posts on
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 43 of 99
our borders so that our people are protected. People who are not
supposed to enter our borders should not be inside. And those who
are supposed to be repatriated should be sent back to their
countries because they belong there and we belong here.
Lastly, hon Minister, we would like to express our appreciation in
respect of the 4 000 individuals who were appointed in January to
work with the army in developing the work of protecting the
It is unfortunate that this department has received qualified audits
for the last couple of years, apparently due to mismanagement by
departmental staff in this area. We accordingly urge the Minister to
co-operate with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, in
these matters, because it reflects negatively on the department when
it fails to rectify its shortcomings, as has been pointed out by
Scopa. We are not blaming anybody, but we are saying that you, as
the head of the department ...
... faka uswazi ukuze kukwazi ukulunga umsebenzi ukwazi ukuqonda
ngqo phambili. Sengiphetha mhlonishwa ... [Isikhathi sesiphelile.]
Ungakusho kanjani ngingakaqedi? [Uhleko.] [... should crack the whip
so that things could go accordingly. In conclusion hon Minister ...
[Time expired.] How can you say that because I am not done yet?
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 44 of 99
Mr A MLANGENI: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Dr Lindiwe Sisulu, hon
Deputy Minister Sampson Makwetla, Acting Secretary for Defence,
Members of Parliament, and our honourable guests, I am not going to
respond to some of the things said by the hon Maynier. I would be
wasting my time, because he spoke as if the Minister is responsible
for the underfunding of the SANDF.
He forgets that it is his duty, my duty and the duty of the entire
Parliament to ask the Treasury to put more money into the SANDF so
that they will be able to carry out their mandate of defending you
and me. That is what we should be doing as a Parliament and not
attack our Minister as if she is responsible for the underfunding of
the SANDF. It is not her fault. It is our fault that we are not
putting pressure on the Treasury.
As articulated in our document Ready to Govern, in the
Reconstruction and Development Programme, and in the Mafikeng,
Stellenbosch and Polokwane conferences, there is a critical need to
ensure peace and stability on our continent and internationally in
order for the objectives of the national democratic revolution to be
Our position as the ANC refers to a wider security dimension, which
emphasises the security of the people, the non-military dimensions
of security, and a holistic approach to peace, stability, security
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 45 of 99
In this regard, the elimination of poverty and unemployment and an
improvement in living standards will ultimately minimise crime and
conflict, especially among the youth, and generally among the people
and countries of the world.
This calls for an integrated approach to development that focuses on
peace and stability in South Africa and the SADC region. This
includes improving the working conditions of security personnel,
improved training, effective border control and the strengthening of
intelligence capacity. It includes the increased responsibilities of
intelligence in defending our democracy, including helping to combat
terrorism. The recognition of the emergence of new threats globally
occasions a need for a well-co-ordinated intelligence-gathering
This budget should assist endeavours to expand and deepen co-
operation among the law-enforcement agencies in the region and
further afield. At the same time, it should enhance cohesiveness in
the improvement of the capacity of our Defence Force and
intelligence agencies to secure the integrity of our nation-state.
Above all, it must help to build a more focused and responsive
The budget of the department must ensure that security forces are an
essential and strategic service in terms of resources. Section
198(a) of the Constitution states:
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 46 of 99
National security must reflect the resolve of South Africans, as
individuals and as a nation, to live as equals, to live in peace
and harmony, to be free from fear and want and to seek a better
Section 200(1) states that the Defence Force must be structured and
managed as a disciplined military force. The Minister has referred
to that on several occasions.
The resolve to live in peace and friendship precludes any South
African citizen from participating in armed conflict, nationally or
internationally, except as provided for in terms of the Constitution
or national legislation. National security must be pursued in
compliance with the law, including international law. National
security is subject, of course, to the authority of Parliament and
the national executive.
Section 200(2) of the Constitution states:
The primary object of the defence force is to defend and protect
the Republic, its territorial integrity and its people in
accordance with the Constitution and the principles of
international law regulating the use of force.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 47 of 99
The Ready to Govern document states that ―South Africa shall be
committed to resolving conflicts primarily through non-violent means
and security forces shall be subject to checks and balances.‖
As captured in section 200 of the Constitution in postapartheid
South Africa, the Defence Force must be structured and managed as a
disciplined military force. With regard to security services,
section 199(8) states:
To give effect to the principles of transparency and
accountability, multiparty parliamentary committees must have
oversight of all security services in a manner determined by
national legislation or the rules and orders of Parliament.
Parliament, through the Defence and Military Veterans committee,
should participate in the strengthening of national security,
defence policy, the integration of military veterans and ensuring
public finance management. The security services, including
personnel, infrastructure, readiness, budgets, expenditure and
acquisition, must ensure a stronger, more focused and responsive
Defence Force. This continues to be our commitment as
representatives of the people in line with our electoral mandate.
Part of the key task is to regularly visit the security services at
their bases, as we did last time, borders – somebody will talk about
that, I hope - ports of entry, offices, defence entities and other
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 48 of 99
places of work to remain abreast of developments. In parliamentary
language, this refers to announced and unannounced visits by us or
by joint standing committees, and so on.
In building and strengthening cohesiveness and unity, Members of
Parliament in the Defence and Military Veterans committee are
obliged to exercise a significant degree of confidentiality while
promoting the principles of transparency and accountability.
Internationally, the area of defence has to balance the needs for
secrecy and sufficient transparency and accountability. In our
actions and conscience we need to deepen the capacity of defence
forces in a manner that is responsive.
The need to deepen cohesiveness and unity to ensure a stronger, more
focused and responsive Defence Force requires a focus on the youth
and their needs, especially their skills development. This is
compatible with the state of the nation addresses over recent years.
In line with the government’s view to create development
opportunities for the youth of South Africa, the Department of
Defence introduced the two-year Military Skills Development System,
MSDS, in 2003 — a two-year programme that grants young people,
mostly school-leavers, the opportunity to do voluntary military
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 49 of 99
The department seeks to enhance the SANDF’s combat-readiness through
annual intakes of young, healthy and fit individuals that are
representative of the country’s population, as part of its
contribution to nation-building. It seeks to afford development
opportunities for the youth of our country.
Subsequent to their basic military training, successful MSDS
recruits are afforded the opportunity to choose training in specific
areas. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. Thank you very much. [Time
Mr B H HOLOMISA: Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, and
hon members, the UDM supports Budget Vote 21. [Applause.] It is a
privilege and an honour to participate in this debate. For the
record, I am not a member of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and
Military Veterans, nor is the UDM represented in the committee.
However, my interest has been occasioned by my appointment to the
Interim National Defence Force Service Commission where I am
volunteering my services. I am honoured that the Minister extended
this invitation to me to serve on the commission. [Applause.]
In today’s debate I am not representing the commission; suffice it
to say that the commission has interacted with the Minister and the
portfolio committee on its mandate. I am sure that the House has
taken note of the public debate about the commission’s work.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 50 of 99
It is worth recalling that the 1998 South African Defence Review
placed more emphasis on social security investment than military
hardware. Investments that should have been made to enable real
defence force priorities, such as training, relevant equipment and
improved conditions of service were neglected. Now these funding
priorities are coming back to haunt the Defence Force. An
illustration of the problem has been the seeming inability of the
state in the past 15 years to protect our borders from illegal entry
by criminal elements, which has resulted in the regular reports of
violent robberies involving them.
If we analyse media reports and the complaints by the Minister in
the recent past, it is clear that, as a result of the arms deal
transaction, the department is struggling to convince the National
Treasury to allocate more funds for urgent priorities such as
relevant equipment, personnel transport and improved conditions of
service. There is a funding deficit for the SA National Defence
Force, which Cabinet needs to address urgently, so that the
department can be in a proper state of readiness.
The steady neglect of the above-mentioned priorities has also had a
deeply negative impact on the morale of SANDF members. We can all
remember the scenes of protesting soldiers outside the Union
Buildings. That should be a wake-up call. However, there is a
misperception that the Interim National Defence Force Service
Commission is investigating that incident directly, including
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 51 of 99
whether there is a need for unionisation within the SANDF. In fact,
the commission is not investigating that matter and the public is
yet to be informed of the specifics of that incident.
One thing that we cannot avoid is that South Africa is now playing
an international security role and will soon be returning as a
member of the United Nations Security Council. This implies far
greater investment in the correct equipment and training for SANDF
personnel to maintain a high standard of professionalism.
On the other hand, we noticed the migration of experienced former SA
Defence Force, SADF; Azanian People’s Liberation Army, Apla;
uMkhonto weSizwe, MK; Ciskei Defence Force, CDF; Bophuthatswana
Defence Force, BDF; Transkei Defence Force, TDF; Venda Defence
Force, etc, soldiers towards retirement. This has been coupled with
well-documented reports of a skills flight to the private sector.
The orientation and integration process that started in 1994 was
always going to be challenging because of the different approaches
to the military profession by the different armed forces.
The emphasis must now be on investing in new future commanders who
will be able to lead the SANDF in its modern responsibilities. Such
an emphasis implies an intensification of training and funding
allocated for this purpose, both internally as well as in
collaboration with friendly armed forces.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 52 of 99
Finally, another matter that is of concern is the state of the South
African military industry. Despite South Africa’s long history of
advanced military manufacturing on the continent and our extensive
participation in peacekeeping operations, it is disheartening to see
how little of our local military hardware, such as armed personnel
carriers, is used abroad. It does not serve our national interest to
be viewed as a Father Christmas who sponsors peacekeeping
operations, but does not actively promote the products of our local
manufacturers for this purpose.
Ngoko ke, xa sikukhuthaza Mphathiswa sithi kule nto yokuqeqesha
ulutsha uze ube ngathi uyayithengisa kakuhle kwaye ulwenze uphando.
Abantu abaza kuyiphikisa ngabo bangalwaziyo olu bizo. Ukuqeqeshwa
kolutsha kuza kunceda ekukhuthazeni isimilo kulo olu lutsha. Kwaye
kufuneka nezifundo ezizakufakwa phaya zibe zezobuthanda-zwe.
(Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Therefore, when we encourage you, Minister, we say you must
advertise the youth training as much as you can and conduct some
research. People who will oppose this are those who are not
familiar with this call. Youth training will help encourage good
behaviour, and the lessons to be given should be on patriotism.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon member, I regret
your time has expired. Thank you. [Applause.]
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 53 of 99
Mr B H HOLOMISA: Ndisathetha nam mnt’omdala. Ndiyabulela. [Sir, I’m
still on the floor. I thank you.] [Applause.]
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter ... [Hon Chairperson ...]
The hon Minister gave us a fairy-tale story of the SA National
Defence Force; unfortunately, I will have to come back to the
Agb Minister, u het ’n hele paar uitdagings wat vir u voorlê. Die
eerste uitdaging ...
Voorsitter, die agb Minister vra dat ek vir haar kans moet gee om
haar vertaaldiens te kry. U sal vir my’n ekstra minuut moet gee,
asseblief. [Gelag.] Dankie. Is u reg, agb Minister? Goed.
Agb Minister, soos ek gesê het, daar is ’n paar uitdagings wat vir u
voorlê. Die eerste ding wil ek vandag vir u sê: Die Suid-Afrikaanse
Nasionale Weermag is verpolitiseer. Ek wil vandag vir u sê: Jou
politiek bepaal of jy op ’n kursus gaan; jou politiek bepaal of jy
bevorder gaan word of nie.
Dan wil ek vandag ook vir u sê: Jou magsnommer bepaal aan watter
politiek jy behoort. Daar is ’n verskil in magsnommers tussen die
statutêre en nie-statutêre magte. Jou velkleur sê vir jou aan watter
politiek jy behoort. Ek wil vir die agb Minister sê: As u nie
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 54 of 99
politiek uit die Weermag haal nie, gaan u nie ’n professionele
weermag hê nie.
Ek is op rekord waar ek sê dat ek gekant daarteen is dat daar
vakbonde in die Weermag is. Maar ek wil darem ook vandag vir u sê
dat ek nie lede van die Weermag kwalik neem as hulle wel aan ’n
vakbond behoort nie, want daar word nie na hulle griewe geluister
U sê daar is ’n grieweprosedure. Dis korrek. Dis ’n prosedure op
papier, maar in die praktyk het die mense nie iewers heen om te gaan
met hul griewe nie. Dit moet onmiddellik aangespreek word.
Ek wil praat oor dissipline. Agb Minister, ek praat al die afgelope
tien jaar oor die dissipline in die Weermag. Dis onaanvaarbaar dat
’n mens in die media moet hoor van ’n verkragting van ’n
vrouesoldaat hier, of op ’n vredesoperasie daar, of wat ook al. Dis
’n teken dat die kern vrot is; dat daar nie dissipline is nie.
U sê u wil die jongmense van die strate af en in die weermag kry
sodat hulle daar dissipline moet opdoen. Ek is bevrees dat, as ons
die situasie nie daadwerklik gaan aanspreek nie, hulle nie
dissipline daar gaan ontvang nie, maar wel erger gaan word.
Ek kom nou by die begroting. Ek stem saam met wat die agb Voorsitter
netnou gesê het. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 55 of 99
[Hon Minister, you have several challenges ahead of you. The first
Chairperson, the hon Minister is requesting that I give her an
opportunity to get hold of her interpreting service. You will have
to allocate an extra minute to me, please. [Laughter.] Thank you.
Are you ready, hon Minister? Very well.
Hon Minister, I mentioned that you have several challenges ahead of
you. The first thing that I would like to say to you today: The
South African National Defence Force has been politicised. I want to
say to you today: One’s political convictions determine whether one
will attend a course; one’s political convictions determine whether
or not one will be promoted.
I would also like to say to you today: One’s force number determines
the political party that one belongs to. Statutory and non-statutory
authorities differ with regard to the force numbers. One’s skin
colour points to which political party one belongs. I want to say to
the hon Minister: You will not have a professional defence force if
politics is present in the Defence Force.
I am on record for saying that I am opposed to having unions in the
Defence Force. But I want to say today that I do not hold it against
members of the Defence Force if they do indeed belong to a union,
because their grievances are not heard.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 56 of 99
You mention that there is a grievance procedure. That’s correct.
That is a procedure on paper, but in practice these people have no
place to take their grievances. This should be addressed
I want to speak about discipline. Hon Minister, for the past ten
years I have been speaking about discipline in the Defence Force. It
is unacceptable that one should read in the media about the rape of
a woman soldier here or somewhere else during a peace operation.
That is a sign that the core is rotten; that discipline is
You mention that you want to get the youth off the street and in the
Defence Force in order for them to gain some discipline. I’m afraid
that they will not receive any discipline if we are not going to
actively address the situation, but that they can very well grow
I will now talk about the budget. I agree with what the hon
Chairperson said previously.]
Every Member of Parliament who is sitting here has got the
responsibility. And there is a greater responsibility on the members
of the ANC, because they have to ensure that there is enough money
to ensure that we have a defence force. Each and every member must
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 57 of 99
ask himself or herself whether he or she wants a defence force or
not. If one’s answer is yes, one will have to start lobbying.
Voorsitter, ek wil vandag sê dat daar nuwe salarisse aangekondig is.
Dit vereis R1,9 miljard, maar die Tesourie het net R600 miljoen
toegestaan — met ander woorde, ’n tekort van R1,3 miljard.
Wat gebeur nou? Hoofde word nou verplig om hul operasionele
begrotings aan te wend om soldate te betaal. En omdat hulle die
operasionele gelde begin aanwend daarvoor, is ons Weermag se
gevegsgereedheid in gevaar. Daar is nie eens genoeg ammunisie om
behoorlike opleiding te gee aan lede van die Military Skills
Development System, MSDS, nie. Daar is nie genoegsame geld vir
ammunisie om te verseker dat die eerste lynfunksie van brigades
nagekom word nie. Daar is nie genoeg operasionele geld om te
verseker dat ons vegvlieëniers in die nag operasioneel kan wees nie.
My beperkte tyd laat my nie toe om veel te sê nie.
Dit is ’n ernstige bedreiging. In die hele, totale jaar sit ons met
’n tekort van R3 miljard rand. Die ergste is, oor die
mediumtermynbegroting verhoog dit oor die volgende twee jaar na ’n
tekort van R4 miljard. Dis ’n taak, veral vir die ANC lede, om te
sorg dat daar geld is.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 58 of 99
Laastens wil ek vir u sê, agb Minister ... (Translation of
Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Chairperson, I want to say today that we have been told about the
new salaries that requires R1,9 billion, but Treasury has allocated
only R600 million. In other words, there is a shortfall of R1,3
What is going to happen now? Heads are forced to utilise their
operational budgets in order to compensate soldiers, and as a result
of this the battle-readiness of our Defence Force is in danger.
There is not even sufficient ammunition to train members of the
Military Skills Development System, MSDS, properly. There are
insufficient funds to purchase ammunition to ensure that the first
line function of brigades is met. There are insufficient funds to
ensure that our fighter pilots are operational at night.
My limited time does not allow me to say too much.
This is a serious threat. We will experience a shortage of R3
billion for the whole year. The worst is that over the Medium-Term
Budget it will increase over the next two years to a shortfall of R4
billion. It is the duty of the ANC members to ensure that there is
Lastly, I would like to say to you, hon Minister ...]
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 59 of 99
I have known you since 1994. You are a hardworking Minister and I
know you as someone who is transparent. Whoever advised you to say
that you don’t need to appear in front of the Standing Committee on
Public Accounts, Scopa, gave you ill advice. Fire those people
because they are not good for you. What they advised you to do was a
mistake. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon
Chairperson, members of the portfolio committee and the House at
large, in his popular work The Art of War, the ancient Chinese sage
Sun Tzu reminds us that military forces consume a nation’s wealth
entirely and that war empties the government’s storehouses. He
graphically captures what happens when your resources get depleted
and you hollow out your military, by saying, ―Broken armies will get
rid of their horses. They will throw down their armour, helmets, and
arrows. They will lose their swords and shields. They will leave
their wagons without oxen.‖ And, I may add, ―They will lose their
discipline and morale, too.‖
Yet it is a syndrome we all don’t wish for our country, because our
Defence Force is the premier guarantor of our freedom. We would all
agree that there isn’t much use to be hard at work, broadening the
horizons of freedom’s possibilities through development, when we
cannot guarantee the sovereignty of our country for self-
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 60 of 99
Where do we start? I believe we cannot solve problems if we think
the way we thought, when we created them. The question we need to
pose to ourselves is whether we can continue to deliver our defence
function with the levels of resources we are dedicating to this
mandate today. To be fair, the exercise that should help us answer
this question comprehensively is a defence review. However, those
who have been following our defence business can argue that the
product of the previous such exercise became a still-born baby
because we could not fund it.
With all due respect, one can argue that the political callousness
towards our country’s defence needs has made planning in our defence
environment a silly notion. It would appear unavoidable that, to
correct this state of affairs, we indeed need an open, participatory
public debate so that we can all move together. To leave our defence
budget hovering at 1,2% of GDP can only spell further disaster, as
managers are compelled to take misaligned short-term decisions to
keep the organisation going.
As the Ministry and the department, we are not seeking an easy
solution to this problem by pleading for more resources. We have
been self-critical too. We have turned the focus on ourselves in
order to understand the wrong things we have been doing which
aggravated this problem. The departmental task team established by
the Minister to ensure efficiency in managing budgets has started
work. The team is tasked with curbing wastages, curbing leaks,
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 61 of 99
tackling the syndrome of unspent budgets and end-of-year spikes and
duplications, and with reprioritising in order to improve overall
due diligence in managing our resources.
The task team will also address flawed project-finance plans. We
need to ensure that budget plans for systems acquisition take into
account the maintenance costs of these systems throughout their life
cycle. This will improve capability management, especially of new
systems, without pressure being exerted on current budgets. We need
to make sure that where capital projects are delivered through
public-private partnerships, PPPs, we plan their future operational
costs, so that they also do not exert financial pressure on the
department’s budgets. We need to spend enough resources to address
The task team aims to provide short-term interventions which can
yield immediate, albeit modest, savings, while commencing on long-
term proposals to reposition the department in a manner that can
result in macro savings. This repositioning of the department would
be realised in dialogue with those in charge of the defence review.
If this work unfolds well, it is anticipated that we can effect the
first modest adjustments and savings in the 2011 budget, followed by
major adjustments and savings in 2012.
It is worth noting that for all these improvements to be tackled
immediately, our department needs to overhaul several of its
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 62 of 99
outdated administration and finance systems, some of which date as
far back as 1982. To do this, we hope Treasury will be kind enough
to grant us a special reprieve from the moratorium imposed on system
upgrading in government.
The most refreshing line item in the budget we are here to get
Parliament to approve is a modest figure of R20 million for setting
up the Department of Military Veterans. On Friday, 30 April, the
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Minister Sisulu, opened
the offices of the new Department of Military Veterans in Irene,
This development heralds a new era in the history of the military in
this country, especially in the lives of those who sacrificed for
freedom. It is a development which brings healing to the direct
beneficiaries of this programme. It also makes us all, as a country,
even more humane, as we make a sacrifice for those South Africans
who were not found wanting in sacrificing for us yesterday. They
occupied the forward trenches in the unfortunate conflict which
consumed so many of us.
We now have a firm policy in government of support for military
veterans. This will go a long way in restoring pride and a sense of
self-worth in those who served our country and those who continue to
serve our country in the military with honour. This policy will go a
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 63 of 99
long way in turning a military career into an attractive option and
a career of choice among young people in our country today.
The report containing policy recommendations on military veterans is
being taken through Cabinet. It will be presented to Parliament
shortly through the portfolio committee. Later in the year, on a
date still to be identified, the President will officially launch
the services of the new department to beneficiaries and the public
at large. The work done by the ministerial task team on military
veterans is indeed invaluable. The team evaluated several
experiences on how governments provide support to military veterans.
Let us remind the House that the worst-off military veterans are
those who served in the liberation armies, because they were without
any form of remuneration. They were not gainfully employed to
contribute to their pension days and the welfare of their families.
It is important to indicate that it is this group, in particular,
which has challenges of verifying their particulars. We appreciate
that this must be diligently executed to ensure that there are no
legitimate cases which are left out to the discredit of the
department, while, at the same time, we firmly guard against abuse
of this programme.
In its totality, the veterans’ population consists of yesterday’s
problem, which has grown acute because of our neglect. We are also
dealing with veterans who are going into retirement today after
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 64 of 99
serving our country with honour since the SANDF was established
under the new democratic dispensation in 1994. Lastly, the veterans
contemplated, in policy, also include the new crop of SANDF members
who are today, among other things, performing duties as peacekeepers
outside our borders.
From the above, it is pretty evident that with all the best practice
we were exposed to in other countries, we still needed to come back
home and craft a solution that addresses our peculiar concrete
conditions. With everything taken into account, the new policy
objectives are aimed at recognising and honouring all military
veterans in life and memorialising them in death for their sacrifice
on behalf of the nation; ensuring a smooth and seamless transition
of military veterans from active service to civilian life; restoring
individuals’ lost capabilities to the greatest extent possible;
improving the quality of life of veterans and that of their
dependants; and, also, ensuring that military veterans are harnessed
for reconciliation and nation-building.
It became evident quite early in our assignment that to achieve the
above goals, we would be obliged to repeal the current legislation,
in particular the Military Veterans Affairs Act, Act 17 of 1999, and
to amend other pieces of legislation which are administered by other
departments from which military veterans receive other forms of
support from government. These include the Housing Act of 1997, the
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 65 of 99
National Health Act of 2003, and the Social Assistance Act of 2004,
to cite but a few.
An important overriding consideration of the proposed policy is to
ensure that the solution to the problem of military veterans is
located and informed by mainstream government policies, in order for
it to be sustainable. As a result, the proposed benefits are aligned
to government socioeconomic and political policy strategies — for
example, that they are in sync with government’s social-sector
antipoverty strategies and economic development strategies,
including skills development, to cite but a few examples. The other
key policy alignment task which must still be honed is to bring the
recommendations in line with the human resources policy of the
Department of Defence and Military Veterans, so that it seamlessly
factors in the needs of its members at different stages of their
lives, without leaving them vulnerable at any point of their life
The recommendations before Cabinet are wide ranging and, hopefully,
will be well received by all. Every proposed benefit was thoroughly
debated, taking into account not just best practices elsewhere but
also being guided by the domestic concrete material circumstances
pertaining to suitability, alignment issues and affordability. These
issues range from tax matters to job placement versus pension
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 66 of 99
With the R20 million in the current budget, we hope to get
the department immediately on the road in order to start work on
consolidating South Africa’s database of military veterans and their
dependants, to establish work streams, and to detail the policy
proposals and operational delivery models.
It is envisaged that, whereas this will essentially be a national
department, it will have provincial offices which interface with
provinces in such a way that provinces can also augment these
budgets where they are able to. To improve accessibility, it is
anticipated that regional offices in different provinces will be
established as resources become available.
We are looking at the road ahead with anticipation and optimism. We
are under no illusion that this is going to be a daunting task, but
we accept the challenge without hesitation. We aim to be exemplary
in promoting the philosophy of Batho Pele as the most caring
department in government. We intend promoting the popular slogan
―Nothing for us without us‖ as we deliver to our stakeholders.
However, even as we do so, we will endeavour to build a professional
organisation which employs cutting-edge solutions to address these
In conclusion, in their book about getting big things done in
government, titled If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, William Eggers
and John O’Leary, in extolling the outstanding virtues of two civil
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 67 of 99
servants who are discussed in the book as the type that we need in
order to put a man on the moon, say the following about them:
They took the responsibility of making government work seriously.
They were students of process, of data, of the mechanics of
governing, because they understood that making government work is
a serious endeavour that deserves serious attention.
And they concluded by saying the following:
If our government is to claim a reputation for competency, we will
need a political culture that values and honours the capable
management of public undertakings, a political culture that values
the public servants who tell the unpleasant truths to their
political masters. We don’t have enough of them today.
I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L M MPHAHLELE: Modulasetulo, Letona le kgabane, ke boka dikgomo.
[Chairperson, hon Minister, thank you.]
From the outset let me assure you, hon Minister, that the PAC
supports the Budget Vote. [Applause.]
As the PAC, we feel that making national service noncompulsory is
not the best option, because compulsoriness and democracy are not
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 68 of 99
necessarily mutually exclusive. Something can be compulsory and yet
be essentially democratic. We all know that in Australia to elect is
not a matter of choice; every citizen is compelled to elect, yet
Australia is called a democracy.
One of the most shining examples of democracy in Africa is Botswana.
We all know that in Botswana, national service - Tirelo Setshaba -
is compulsory. So much as our fear is understandable because of our
painful past, I don’t think making this very important aspect
noncompulsory is going to be an improvement for us. More so, it
could also be open to political manipulation. As the PAC, we feel
that it should be reconsidered and made compulsory instead. With
regard to skills training, discipline, education, etc, the PAC
thinks that our youth really need these.
On the question of military veterans, I think the ex-combatants of
the liberation movement are not getting a good deal. In fact, they
are getting a raw deal, because most of them, as the Minister
rightly indicated, are dying in shacks in squalid conditions. This
is because they don’t have medical cover, they hardly have a pension
and, actually, they are condemned to living in poverty.
We welcome your announcement that they are going to get more money
from 15 May 2010, but they deserve something more than money, and
that something is land. The ex-combatants of the liberation movement
must be entitled to land. This wouldn’t be the first time in this
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 69 of 99
country that people who come from war are given land. [Time
Ms M C MOHALE: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister,
Members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
according to our Constitution, the primary object of the Defence
Force is to defend and protect the Republic of South Africa, its
territorial integrity and its people. The SA National Defence Force
is further mandated, in terms of the Defence Act of 2002, to be
deployed on the borders and should therefore be the primary agency
to secure our air, sea and land-line borders.
The recent much-needed and welcomed oversight visit by the portfolio
committee to the Zimbabwean and Mozambican borders further
strengthened the belief that the Defence Force should protect our
land-line borders not just because this is a constitutionally
mandated responsibility, but also because we believe that it is the
best suited and trained for this crucial task.
Border control is a contentious issue in South Africa in light of
the eminent kick-off of the 2010 Fifa — Fédération Internationale de
Football Association — Soccer World Cup, the increasing number of
people illegally entering our country and specifically the criminal
elements who exploit our porous borders for illegal gain. This is
unacceptable and should be tackled with the necessary commitment and
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 70 of 99
associated resources to ensure that especially cross-border criminal
activities are rooted out.
One needs to draw a distinction between controlling access at the
ports of entry - which is mainly a function that resides with the SA
Police Service, Home Affairs, customs and other departments - and
patrolling and protecting the borders, which are mainly military
functions. This distinction is important, as it not only indicates
the respective mandates, but also the specific spheres of
This distinction is present because of the apparent lack of a
unified policy and a clear-cut management directive to guide our
border control responsibility. The Border Control Operational Co-
ordinating Committee and the Border Management Agency should
urgently clarify their roles and responsibilities, as there is
confusion regarding their exact roles.
It needs, however, to be stressed that the co-operation on the
borders at ground level between the SANDF and the SAPS is excellent,
as they have liaison committees, share intelligence, and are able to
conduct joint operations. This is why the dithering at micro level
should be cleared up as a matter of agency, as it causes confusion
and frustration at the operational and tactical levels.
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In the same vein, it is also imperative for departments such as Home
Affairs to play their respective roles. It serves no purpose for
soldiers to apprehend illegal border crossers, just for them to be
issued with year-long work permits by Home Affairs. Alternative
arrangements that maintain respect for human rights need to be made
to prevent such a situation. Similarly, the SAPS needs to be readily
available and willing to assist with their powers of arrest and
investigation once soldiers have apprehended illegal border
Protecting our borders should not be viewed as solely South Africa’s
responsibility. The importance of liaising with our immediate
neighbours for co-operation and co-ordination purposes cannot be
stressed enough. We therefore salute the role of the Defence Force
in establishing these interactions with our neighbours to further
enhance the effectiveness of our border protection. This once again
proves that we are a responsible state that strives to live in peace
with its neighbours, and that we are cognisant of their
socioeconomic conditions and the challenges these bring.
The oversight visit by the portfolio committee was utilised to
augment the committee’s understanding of the situation on the
ground, and the challenges and requirements to effectively control
our borders. There are several challenges facing the department in
taking over the land-line border protection responsibilities from
the SAPS. This is, however, an opportunity for the military to once
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 72 of 99
again display their expertise and professionalism as one of the best
armed forces on the continent.
The financial and human resources challenges are key to successfully
executing an effective border mandate. We are therefore of the
opinion that this should be prioritised, and will assist the
department in persuading National Treasury to appropriately fund
Operation Corona. This is not only the right thing to do, but is
needed owing to the wide-ranging negative impact that poorly guarded
borders can have.
Besides the cross-border smuggling of cigarettes, maritime products,
drugs and vehicles, human trafficking is great cause for concern as
poor rural people are often the victims of unscrupulous cross-border
syndicates. We therefore need the Defence Force to deal effectively
with these armed syndicates when they attempt to illegally cross our
land-line borders to carry out their heinous activities.
Operation Corona, which directs the phased return by the military to
our borders, has indicated what the challenges are and what
resources will be required for the roll-out over the next four years
in order to ensure a successful return to the borders. From
repairing fences and purchasing new generation vehicles, to
establishing observation posts and foot patrols, it is clear that
the Defence Force has planned accordingly and that they have the
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 73 of 99
task in hand. They, however, need the support of this portfolio
committee to be allocated sufficient funding for this crucial task.
The provisional costs, as indicated by Operation Corona, for
returning to the Zimbabwean border totals R105 million, while that
for the Mozambique-Swaziland borders totals R194 million. A large
percentage of this amount will be utilised to return the equipment,
facilities and infrastructure to the pre-withdrawal period of the SA
National Defence Force from the borders. The magnitude of this task
was chillingly brought home to us during our border visit, as the
condition of the equipment, facilities and infrastructure leaves
much to be desired. We therefore urge all relevant role-players to
support the Defence Force to effectively execute this constitutional
In conclusion, we extend our gratitude to Minister Sisulu, the Chief
of the National Defence Force Gen Ngwenya, and their personnel for
inviting us to experience first-hand the border realities and what
is required of the Defence Force.
We support you and your committed personnel in securing our borders,
and urge that this budget not only be approved, but also that an
additional allocation be granted for this critical border control
responsibility. This is not only imperative to protect our economic
interests, but also to safeguard the people of South Africa. The ANC
supports the Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
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Mr S N SWART: Chairperson and hon Minister, severe underfunding of
defence has been a continual thread throughout this afternoon’s
debate. The ACDP has, over the years, consistently raised the issue
of underfunding as have many, if not all, other political parties.
But, at the end of the day, we still approve the underfunded defence
budget as a show of support for our armed forces. Does this not
amount to all talk and no action? And when are we going to show some
This situation has clearly reached critical proportions with severe
cutbacks affecting all operations. There are also significant
backlogs in repair and maintenance. The existence of ageing and
obsolete equipment and ammunition not only impacts on combat
readiness, but also has implications for the safety of soldiers.
But – Chairperson, and all members of the Defence Force here - there
is good news. This year is significantly different from previous
years. We now have the Money Bills Amendment Act which allows us as
MPs to amend the budget. Therefore, there can be no further excuses.
We need to approach the finance and appropriations committees and
put pressure on them. We need action, and we need to stop talking.
It is time to give the Defence Force the resources that they need.
At the very least, part of the savings affected by the cancellation
of the A400M contract should be given back to the department. Why
has that been taken away? [Applause.]
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Clearly, we also support the cause for a strategic defence review to
determine the exact budget priorities. And whilst there is this need
for additional funding, maximum efficiency and accountability in the
planning and use of limited resources is essential. In this regard,
the consecutive qualified audit reports are disquieting. This
clearly must be addressed and we look forward to a clean audit.
On the positive side, I attended the Navy Day Festival earlier this
year and was immensely impressed with the high professional
standards of all involved. Yes, we can be rightfully proud of those
new frigates and submarines on display. I commend all those involved
in maintaining those high standards under very severe budgetary
I would like to encourage all members, not those of only the Defence
Force portfolio committee, to attend these functions. Those of you
who have not attended the naval band’s dry dock concert are missing
something and I would encourage you to attend it.
In conclusion, I wish to thank all the members of the armed services
for their commitment and hard work, often in life-threatening
circumstances. It behoves us as MPs now to ensure that they have
sufficient resources to carry out their mandate. Thank you very
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Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, we don’t need a Defence Force to protect
us against foreigners. But, at the same time, there are two very
important aspects we must indeed understand. We need a capable
Defence Force to make sure we play a role in peacekeeping efforts.
When proper democracy is restored in the whole of Africa, it is of
tremendous benefit to the country.
Secondly, the government relies on the security family as the
upholders of the Constitution. The MF’s leader, Mr A Rajbansi, was
in the transitional executive council when he served on a
subcommittee dealing with military veterans. Here I want to say that
the MF is very disappointed with the South African government — you
are not treating military veterans in the way World War One and
World War Two veterans were treated. They were given homes; they
were given facilities, etc.
The MF wants especially the ANC to respect the undertakings given at
the transitional executive council to the military veterans and to
make sure that they are given decent pensions and not ordinary
social pensions. In KwaZulu-Natal housing for military veterans has
been promised, but not a single house has been built after 16 years.
We want to suggest very strongly to the hon Minister of Defence and
Military Veterans and the hon Minister of Social Development to give
this the highest priority.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 77 of 99
The MF is greatly concerned that the establishment and the migration
of the development of military veterans be closely monitored with
regard to its strategic plan, budget and objectives, and,
importantly, that this is done within the envisaged timeframes.
We are also greatly concerned about the progress made in the long-
overdue renovations - as we heard earlier – and in the repair and
maintenance of defence infrastructure and facilities. We are also
greatly concerned about the role of the Council for Scientific and
Industrial Research, CSIR, and the transfer of delegations from the
Department of Public Works to the Department of Defence and Military
Veterans. We are extremely concerned as to whether a compliance
officer has been appointed, as ―Operation Clean Audit‖ is an
important initiative. The worrying factor is that the Auditor-
General’s report found that insufficient guidance was provided to
staff pertaining to the preparation of financial statements.
However, the MF, hon Minister, welcomes your call that yes, indeed,
we must and we have to treat our military veterans with dignity. The
MF will support the Budget Vote. [Applause.]
Nksz S T NDABENI: Mhlalingaphambili ohloniphekileyo, Mphathiswa
uSisulu ohloniphekileyo, Sekela-Mphathiswa uMakwetla, malungu
nabaPhathiswa abahloniphekileyo, malungu eSebe lezoKhuselo naMagqala
oMkhosi, nani zindwendwe, kuquka nentombi yam, ngqanga neentsiba
zayo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 78 of 99
[Ms S T NDABENI: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Sisulu, Deputy
Minister Makwetla, hon Members and Ministers, members of the
Department of Defence and Military Veterans, visitors, including my
daughter, all protocol observed.]
Chairperson, our budget must contribute to building capacity in the
SA National Defence Force by providing adequate resources so that it
can play an even bigger role in peacekeeping and humanitarian
assistance in Africa and the world.
Members of the SANDF, in conjunction with the SA Police Service,
should ensure peace and stability by way of effective management of
the crime-prevention strategy which has fostered greater co-
operation among the security cluster departments.
This budget must ensure landward, air force and naval readiness for
the detection and neutralisation of all forms of possible threats.
With the 2010 Fifa World Cup and border-related operations, our
Defence Force must really be ready to enhance a peaceful environment
with the necessary resources beyond 2010.
Our understanding of a state of readiness should not mean weaponry,
equipment and the narrow interests of local and international
capital. It should mean building a secure and peaceful developmental
state, and transformation of the Defence Force in a manner that is
underpinned by gender, race and age considerations.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 79 of 99
Our Constitution is unequivocal about the role of defence. We need
to strengthen our flexible approach to defence planning so that it
takes account of the changing need of defence. This calls for
multirole approaches, skills-based capability and the effective use
of the reserve force. Indeed, it requires an integrated approach to
I am happy because the department has a process to promote combat-
readiness, and to do so indirectly through the national commission
of defence and military veterans. This will ensure upgrading of
infrastructure and equipment to ensure safe conditions of service.
This will ensure the recruitment and retention of scarce skills, and
particularly the modernisation of equipment in landward defence, air
defence and the navy with the idea of ensuring combat-readiness.
Our budget must ensure that the SANDF can maintain and sustain its
combat-readiness. It must improve the equipment and ammunition of
the SA National Defence Force.
Combat-readiness also means that the health and safety of our
soldiers are paramount, and these are advanced through this budget.
We welcome an increase in the landward defence programme, compared
to last year’s allocation. We recognise that most of the allocation
is aimed at the modernisation of the landward defence capability.
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This budget must promote the necessary training and skills courses
and the exercising and supporting mechanisms to promote readiness.
It must ensure the maintenance of systems and required equipment.
The number of women in senior positions in the SANDF is still low in
comparison with that of their male counterparts. For instance, the
maritime and air force defence programmes are largely male-
dominated. In the same vein, there is a need to ensure that young
people, both black and white, swell the ranks of the SANDF.
Gender imbalances continue to persist, as revealed by the small
personnel of women deployed in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of
the Congo and Darfur. A total of 15,6% of the women in junior ranks
were in the combat course. However, we must applaud the department’s
plan to address the gender imbalance over the long term by way of
increasing their current recruitment target of women from 30% to 40%
at entry level.
The effective nature of maritime capability within our region is
noticeable. In recent years, maritime and naval power has become
increasingly relevant, both locally and abroad. South African air
force and naval capability needs to be strengthened by this budget
to ensure that it continues to play its vital role on the continent
and in the region.
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This commitment is at the centre of the defence and military
veterans’ science and technology strategic plan. Technological
developments in defence must contribute to the goal of socioeconomic
President Zuma, in his state of the nation address, stated:
Government will intensify efforts to promote the interests of
South Africa globally. It will support efforts to speed up the
political and economic integration of the Southern African
Development Community region, and promote intraregional trade and
South Africa continues to play a leading role in continental efforts
to strengthen the African Union and its organs, and to work for
The President’s emphasis demonstrates commitment to the Freedom
Charter, namely that ―There shall be peace and friendship‖. This
document contends that economic and political co-operation with
other countries will bring about a better life for all, peace, and a
better Africa and world.
The ANC’s Polokwane conference characterised the current global
situation as a situation in which an exploitative socioeconomic
system ruled the world, and that the danger should not be
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 82 of 99
underestimated of widening wars of conquest - and other more
sophisticated means of subversion - in search of resources, markets
and geopolitical advantage. Equally, though, we acknowledged that
most countries have become peaceful and democratic and that peace is
Hon Maynier, the ANC believes in the sovereignty of all nations to
choose their own economic and developmental path, without undue
influence by the developed nations or any other country or party. In
the same vein, you must also take note that our budget debate is
placed within the current global economic crisis.
We really need to commend the leadership of our Minister for her
endeavours to place the department on a new path after years of the
slow pace of transformation. This is clearly demonstrated by the
decrease in expenditure trends, particularly in the cancellation of
the A400M Airbus strategic airlift last year. That decision was
informed by our budget realities and the developmental interests of
our country, and not by dogma.
Hon members, we must assure all South Africans that our boys will be
taking good care of our borders and are ready to deal with anyone
that seeks to undermine our country and democracy by getting into
the country without the proper documentation.
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The security preparations for the Fifa Soccer World Cup are at an
advanced stage to ensure the security of the event and our country.
Therefore all criminal suspects are warned.
Parliament has the power to ensure that national security is
strengthened. Therefore, the redeployment of our soldiers to the
borders and other ports of entry is overdue.
Inkongolo yabantu ithi, ―Whuntshu. Mathol’ anyongande kukudlelana.‖
[Kwaqhwatywa.] [The ANC says, ―Well done.‖ [Applause.]
Mnr D C SMILES: Agb Voorsitter, ek gaan Afrikaans praat.
Militêre opleiding, militêre dissipline, militêre akkuraatheid,
insluitend strategiese beplanning, is sleutelkonsepte en aksies tot
militêre paraatheid asook militêre professionalisme.
Die skaduminister van verdediging, David Maynier, het vandag goed
daarin geslaag om die leemtes in die militêre paraatheid van ons
verdedigingsmag uit te wys aan die Departement van Verdediging.
Aan die ander kant het die agb Minister klaaglik misluk om die
burgers van Suid-Afrika te oortuig dat Suid-Afrika se militêre
paraatheid in orde en in plek is.
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Ons sien vandag dat daar ’n departement van militêre veterane is wat
gestig gaan word. Militêre professionalisme kondisioneer aktiewe
militêre personeel in so ’n mate dat dit, soos in baie ander lande,
nodig is dat ’n agenstskap of ’n volle departement van die regering
van die dag die oorgang van soldate vanaf aktiewe militêre diens na
die gewone burgerlike samelewing moet behartig.(Translation of
Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr D C SMILES: Hon Chairperson, military training, military
discipline, military precision, including strategic planning, are
key components and actions to military preparedness as well as
The shadow minister of defence, David Maynier, today successfully
identified the gaps in the military preparedness of our defence
force to our Department of Defence.
On the other hand, the hon Minister was alarmingly unsuccessful in
convincing the citizens of South Africa that South Africa’s military
preparedness is in order and in place.
Today we see that a department of military veterans is going to be
established. Military professionalism conditions active military
personnel in such a way that, as is the case in other countries, it
is necessary for an agency or a full department of the ruling
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 85 of 99
government to handle the transition of soldiers from active military
service to common civil society.]
Now we see that the Department of Military Veterans was proclaimed
in December 2009, but since then there has been a lot of secrecy and
a lack of transparency. Let me try to describe what has happened:
R20 million has been allocated for this new department and there has
been a new appointment of a director-general. A task team was
established last year. They reported to the hon Minister in January
of this year about their recommendations, and there was a launch on
Friday last week. The picture that we get from the department is
that the launching and everything else is important, but that the
processes and procedures of Parliament are not. That is not
Why am I saying this? This portfolio committee of the Department of
Defence and Military Veterans has yet to see the report. In
addition, we have not been briefed on the contents of that report.
But what we see is the hon Booi standing up here today trying to
defend the hon Minister, when the hon Minister was supposed to
appear before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa. I
don’t think that the hon Booi should behave in that manner. I think
he needs to be investigated for his behaviour. [Interjections.]
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 86 of 99
We are very concerned that the Portfolio Committee on Defence and
Military Veterans has not yet seen a Green Paper. Even this
Parliament has never smelt a Green Paper on the Department of
So, what is happening in this department? What is happening is
precisely what my colleague has said: There is a tendency towards
secrecy ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms H C MGABADELI: Chairperson, Minister, Deputy Minister, hon
Members of Parliament, members of the Republic of South Africa at
large, dignitaries and patriots, we greet you all in this debate on
Defence and Military Veterans, Budget Vote No 21. We want to say
upfront that we support this Budget Vote. We really do as the ANC,
and a number of other political parties have said so, too. This is a
sign to say that when it comes to defence, everybody is a South
African. We are thankful for that.
I also want to echo upfront what the hon Ndlovu expressed
appreciation for, that is recognition of the successful, co-
ordinated multidisciplinary approach that was shown by all the
Ministers, everybody involved - neighbours, members abroad – to
solving what happened in Sudan. We really appreciate these co-
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 87 of 99
For the first time after the 1994 elections, the true nonracial,
nonsexist, democratic South African national recruits were openly
shown on SA Broadcasting Corporation television bidding farewell to
their parents, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, etc, for the
purpose of going and joining this dignified call.
These recruits were no longer singing: ―Saphuma sangena kwamanye
amazwe, lapho kungazi khona ubaba nomama, silandela inkululeko. [We
went in and out of other countries, where our fathers and mothers
did not know, looking for freedom.]
No, they were saying that they were joining to protect the freedoms
that have been won by their forefathers, our sisters, our brothers.
That was the first sign of a practical transformation during our
lifetime. We congratulate those parents, those hon South Africans.
This time their mothers knew exactly where their kids were going.
Those hugs and tears were not tears of pains, but tears of joy on
having to go forward to do what we are debating about. Therefore,
this budget has to take all those things into consideration. You
could see the type of parents who were there. They were not from
wherever; they are from here. This was the real proof of
The significance of these recruits in their numbers, most of them
being young, is that it was only a few months after the march to the
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 88 of 99
Union Buildings. The doubters of revolution in action had already
given up on this department. It will always be like this when the
country begins to be governed by the people for their own country to
benefit both men and women and the generations come.
The committee is here requesting all of you listening to pass on the
message if needs be, analyse it in your own structures including
your own family structures, with the full understanding that the SA
National Defence Force is not a liability, but a huge national asset
for centuries to come.
Today we will help you to understand even better why we say that the
SANDF is a national asset and why we request you to support it. From
this point onwards, please link the budget for the SANDF with the
following important realities, amongst other things: We need to go
home and ask ourselves what it is that we are defending; we need to
know — as patriots and as South Africans — why we are defending what
we say we are defending; we need to know how much it takes to defend
what we are defending, both in terms of equipment and apparatus as
well as in terms of the human resources needed to defend
The hon Tolo said it, and the hon Holomisa emphasised it in a much
simpler way. The hon Minister confirmed this. So, we cannot say that
these are not our constituents, because this is Parliament and we
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 89 of 99
still need to go out and help people in our constituencies to
understand what we are here for.
In trying to link these areas with the budget, it is of great
importance to always keep in mind that this department is not
dealing with markets of different monetary systems. Rather, it is a
unique department dealing with the lives of the citizens of South
Africa, of the Southern African Development Community, of the
African Union, and of the United Nations. We saw what happened in
Sudan. I have spoken about that.
The point we must never forget is that the total wellness of SANDF
members has to be a priority when support for this budget is sought.
You cannot count it; it is not like paying an amount, say R5, for
milk. The wellness of the SANDF should be seen when a member of the
defence walks by. You should feel it: that the person who walked by
We need money for that to be the case. How long will a healthy
African member of the National Defence Force last? We need to know.
The Budget Vote is for a certain number of years; say, from one to
five years. This then begins to tell you how long this person will
live. How much will she or he be able to share and impart of the
knowledge he or she gained to the next generation? Hence, there is
the importance of the military veteran, hon Minister. Such a budget
will enable us to believe, practically, as should be the case, what
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 90 of 99
Fidel Castro said one day when addressing intellectuals like you:
The revolution has the right to exist, the right to develop and the
right to succeed. And the right to be helped sometimes here in South
Our budget therefore has to cover and consider this existence and
this development, as well as cover the right of it to succeed. The
Minister of Defence, in July 2009 in her budget speech, made an
important note about the issue of economy. She said:
In rethinking our role in the economy, we would like to provide
training for essential skills in the economy. We believe we can
play a pivotal role in providing the bulk of this. In any country,
the defence force is an equal-opportunity institution where young
people are given skills. We want to inject that into our society,
because we have huge skills training capabilities and have tested
this through our Military Skills Training Programme.
The above quote needs our sharp monitoring and recognition of the
fact that the SANDF is not a liability, but an asset. We have a
number of divisions. I want to allow my Minister to talk so I will
give her two more minutes.
For now, I will continue. With regard to all these divisions ...
There are those of us who read the Bible. I also read the Koran
because it is important to know all these things. This Parliament is
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 91 of 99
full of Ministers; most of them men. It is said somewhere in the
Bible, with regard to ministers of religion:
... yizwani-ke nina umfanekiso womhlwanyeli. Yilowo nalowo olizwa
izwi lombuso engaliqondi ufikelwa ngomubi ohlwithayo ohlwanyelwe
ngasendleleni. Yilowo nalowo olizwa izwi lombuso engaliqondi
ufikelwa ngomubi ohlwitha okuhlwanyelwe enhlizweni yakhe. Yilowo
ohlwanyelwe ngasendleleni. Ohlwanyelwe edwaleni nguye olizwa izwi,
alamukele masinyane ngokuthokoza, kepha kanampande phakathi kwakhe,
kodwa uhlala isikhashana nje, kuthi sekuvele ukuhlupheka
nokuzingelwa ngenxa yezwi, akhubeke masinyane. Futhi-ke ohlwanyelwe
emeveni nguye olizwa izwi, kepha iminako yalesisikhathi nokukhohlisa
kwengcebo kuminyanisa izwi, abe ngongatheliyo. Kepha ohlwanyelwe
emhlabathini omuhle nguye olizwa izwi, aliqonde, athele impela
isithelo, omunye aveze ngekhulu, omunye ngamashumi ayisithupha,
omunye ngamashumi amathathu.
Sesinitshelile ama-divisions alomnyango ukuthi yimaphi ngakho-ke
asiphumi nje kohlwanyela uma sicela isabelomali, sicela isabelomali
yalezizinto esenizwile kanye nalezo esingazibalanga. Ngizoma lapho
ngoba ngifuna ukuthi uNgqongqoshe wami akhulume. (Translation of
isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[―Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone
hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the
evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This
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is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground
refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with
joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When
trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall
away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears
the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of
wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on
good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it.
This is the one who procudes a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or
thirty times what was sown.‖
We have told you which divisions belong to this department,
therefore we do not just go and spend the money when we request the
budget allocation; we request that these things we have mentioned
and those that we have not mentioned be budgeted for. I will pause
there, because I want my Minister to respond.]
I want to say: let’s not confuse the Constitution with being yes men
– ―Yes, man‖, ―No, man‖, ―Yes, ma‖. No; the Constitution is clear. I
want to share the following with you because it was in my prose. I
can’t remember the name of the author of the book A Man For All
Seasons – it was stolen a long time ago by these people – but it
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There are those ... who follow me because I wear the crown ...
there’s a mass that follows me because it follows anything that
moves. And then there’s you.
Sir Thomas was very brave and was an enemy of men, but his major
enemy had to say, ―And there is you, Sir Thomas.‖ Hon Minister,
respect those who you think are Sir Thomas, because they won’t lead
you into chaos. We support your budget again. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Chairperson, please
allow me right from the outset to cover three of the most important
things that we wanted to bring to this Budget Vote debate today.
Firstly, we will be paying back the backlog that we owe our soldiers
of levels 2 to 12 from December to July, as recommended. [Applause.]
Secondly, because we really do care about ensuring that we can keep
the skills in the Defence Force, we will ensure that our members who
qualify for the occupation-specific dispensation, OSD, receive the
necessary salary adjustments from last year July to this year. We
will backdate the salary adjustment to that. [Applause.]
Thirdly, we will be paying out the nonstatutory fund pensions, which
will be sorted out by 15 May this year. For these I’m deeply
grateful to the military command of the Defence Force, the
Secretaries of Defence, the extensive advice that I have been
getting from my office, and my overworked and dedicated staff. I
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express my sincerest gratitude that today we are able to give this
We will be engaging with society on the purpose of the national
service and we hope that we will bring a Bill to this Parliament
next year. I would like to thank the hon member from the PAC. I
think what you said on this matter is actually something that I
would like to take into account and put it into some kind of
perspective. I thank you very much for your wise words. We will
consider that. I would like to - not on the land - on the ...
That’s one minute gone, Chairperson. I want to thank hon members who
spoke here in support of our soldiers. What we have done in the
Defence Force, as we speak, is to link this service with our
barracks. As we speak here, and they hear the hot air from across
there, they know exactly what it is that we think of them. There has
been very, very hot air from there.
They have been listening to this budget debate so that they can
understand what it is that we say about them. Somewhere out there
they do know that members of this House have been supportive of them
and understand the conditions under which they live. I would like to
thank very much all those people who have done whatever they can,
including the necessary research, to be here and ensure that they
can add quality.
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 95 of 99
I would like to thank hon Mr Mlangeni for giving a general
perspective of the work that we do abroad. This is a very important
work and it is something that we would like to ensure that South
Africans are kept abreast of. I was very concerned about an
allegation from an hon member that there is rape committed by our
soldiers outside of our country. I would like the member to please
look into the research and not to generalise about this. This is not
what our soldiers are there for. Our soldiers are well known
internationally for the quality of work that they do when they are
out there. The United Nations has given them wide acclaim for the
qualities that they have. So, please, do not use whatever incident
you might have as a perspective to paint my soldiers.
[Interjections.] Sorry, may I please continue. May I please
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order!
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: I would like to thank
... [Interjections.] I need your protection, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are protected, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Thank you very much.
I would like to thank the hon member Swart. Hon member, I’ve been a
member of the Portfolio Committee on Defence for a very long time,
but I have never heard anybody from outside the ANC speak as
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eloquently about defence as you did. I am touched to the core.
[Applause.] I’m really touched to the core. I wanted to say that in
case your party is a fading party like some parties ... [Laughter.]
... please do consider, please do consider that any Minister of
Defence might want an adviser such as yourself. Thank you very much
for your advice.
With regard to the matter of the audit, hon Ndlovu, it would be
extremely dishonest for any member not to acknowledge this. I
approached the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans
and they gave me two valuable hours so that I could take them
through the concerns of the Auditor-General, as well as the matters
that we have decided to do and change. This was also an opportunity
for me to take them through all those matters that I had personally
committed myself to doing; and we have done just that.
I committed myself here last year - that we would not have another
qualified report. I want to emphasise that that is what we are
committed to doing. My two Secretaries of Defence have been in
constant contact with the Treasury department and the Accountant-
General to ensure that there will not be any qualifications. Blood
is coming your way, Maynier, so you had better keep quiet.
I have been given the assurance that this is completely in our hands
and it is possible for us to do this. We are very concerned and that
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was the first thing that we declared. Yes, the Department of Defence
has had very bad and negative audits, but in this dispensation there
will not be; not in my name. I have committed myself publicly and I
came to the committee on my own to give that necessary assurance.
Mr V B NDLOVU: Nkosikazi! [Madam!]
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Ngiyabonga Baba
[Thank you, sir.] [Applause.]
I will ignore the theatrics of people who still need to grow up.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: You know that in the
DA - this is what I have discovered and this is what is now so
problematic for Maynier - they get points for all the questions that
they ask. They get points for all the times that they stand up in
the media. Last year’s points for the most questions asked in
Parliament went to the hon Maynier. [Interjections.] I do not know
what he got for it. He is now in the running for a second award.
Hon Maynier, I have said it to you once and I have said to you a
number of times: the Defence Force does not care what your politics
EPD 4 MAY 2010 Page: 98 of 99
is; it absolutely doesn’t care. But they care that they should
provide an excellent service for this country. You sit there,
enjoying a lie and grandstanding. When I came in here, there he was
with a pile of books in front of him, just simply to put on an
appearance. [Laughter.] [Applause.] You have read nothing since you
got into this Parliament, and you have also learnt nothing since you
got into this Parliament. Nonetheless, my soldiers will defend you
because they have honour and that is what they do. [Applause.]
Finally, allow me to direct myself to my soldiers who are out there
listening to this debate. I want them to know that their
responsibilities are enormous, but I have confidence in them. I also
know that, from what has been said here today, they will understand
that the bulk of South Africans who are represented in Parliament
have a great deal of confidence in them. [Applause.] I would like
them to understand this, because the morale of our soldiers is our
responsibility as Members of Parliament.
I also want to say to them: ―Please conduct yourself at all times
understanding that the honour of the position that you hold is an
honour for South Africa. You hold that in our name.‖ I want them to
continue to be resourceful. We do not have the money we would like
to have, but please continue to be resourceful. We are hoping that
we can clean up our act. We are also hoping that ... To all of you
who supported this budget, thank you very much. [Time expired.]
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The Committee rose at 16:33.