Speaker of the National Assembly / Chairperson
Deputy Minister, Hon KB Maphatsoe
Fellow Cabinet Colleagues and Deputy Ministers
Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the JCPS cluster
Co-Chairperson and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence
Members of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans
Secretary for Defence and Chief of the of the SANDF
Acting Director General of the Department of Military Veterans
Members of the Plenary Defence Staff Council
Commanders and Senior officials of both the Departments of Defence and Military Veterans
The Military Ombud and Deputy Military Ombud
Chairpersons, members and CEOs of both the Armscor and the Castle Control Boards
Chairpersons and members of the Defence Force Services Commission, the Reserve Force Council and the Military Veterans Advisory Council
Members of the SANMVA National Executive Committee
Members of the Military Veterans Appeals Board
Members of the Women Veterans Association
Our distinguished guests
Officers Commanding and our soldiers in the units
Friends, fellow South Africans
Today marks the 54th Anniversary since the founding fathers of our continent’s liberation gathered in Addis Ababa to form the Organisation of African Unity in the aftermath of a protracted period of colonialization. As reflected in the preamble of their adopted Charter they declared their common intent as driven by the desire “that all African States should henceforth unite, so that the welfare and wellbeing of their peoples can be assured.”
It is this desire to assure the welfare and wellbeing of our peoples that has essentially driven our quests for freedom and democracy in the continent, including here at home. We committed ourselves to the struggle of sacrifices, not only to oppose a systemic enemy that sought to divide and condemn us all, but that once we succeed, we ourselves will continue to unite and serve our people to reverse the legacy of their oppression and build a better life for all.
Today we join the rest of the world to honour generations of these pioneers, amongst them former President of the ANC Oliver Tambo, to whom we have dedicated this year.
In this regard we saw it fitting to request the presence of one of the leaders from whose lap some of us learnt the values and tenets of leadership.
It is with great humility and pride for me to recognise a leader who has been a mother to many of us, a teacher and a protector. She is our stalwart and military veteran who has been trusted by the ANC in many deployments to build solidarity for our own struggle in the African continent.
I therefore recognise uMama Gertrude Shope, one of our foremost ambassadors of the people’s struggle and the solidarity with the continent. In addition we are joined by Ntate Isaac Makopo who is a trailblaizer and was amongst the first generation of MK cadres. He served the country and its peole with distinction and was honoured with the Order of Luthuli.
Such recognition brings forth the question of the extent to which we celebrate, acknowledge, and recognise our veterans, both as military and struggle veterans.
For our part in the DOD I have instructed the Chief of the SANDF to appoint Mama Shope and Ntate Makopo as Patrons of the South African National Defence Force.
I invite you to enjoin yourselves to our decision to link the celebration of Africa Day, with the significant role played by our women and men in uniform, in support of efforts to bring about much needed peace and conditions of safety, for all people of the continent.
It is the first responsibility of any government in the world to secure its sovereignty and the safety of its people.
As a country, we have much to celebrate in the role that South Africa continues to play in bringing about stability to support the continent’s collaborative efforts that create the necessary conditions for human development and betterment of all our people. The role of the SANDF, recognised as a mid-wife for peace in the continent, has been integral in these efforts.
I must indicate our encouragement with the levels of improvement in the manner in which our people are showing appreciation and interest in the work of the SANDF. The levels of enthusiasm and support for our public events, especially the Armed Forces Day, has notably increased and this has communicated a clear message to our soldiers that their service and sacrifices are recognised, appreciated and celebrated by the nation. But we can do more.
It will help to improve the morale of our troops when we highlight and celebrate as they leave our shores or return from external deployment when our contingents leave our shores or return from these deployments.
As we mark Africa Day, I wish to introduce to Parliament, the young men and women, who served in the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade in the Eastern DRC, which was mandated to protect civilians, women and children, and repel negative forces.
Amongst the greatest successes of the Force Intervention Brigade is the important role it played in neutralizing the negative forces, the M23 in particular. It was in these engagements, that the Rooivalk attack helicopter was also deployed for its first combat mission with great success and helping the FIB to destroy the negative forces.
Today in this house we have amongst us part of the contingent deployed in the FIB led by Col Monwabisi Dyakopu (National Contingent Commander).
In support of our soldiers deployed in operations, we have introduced a compensation measure for members who suffer death as a result of injury, in line with the UN policy.
I am pleased to report to you that the Department of Defence has completed the plan for the attainment of milestone one of the Defence Review 2015 (Arrest the Decline). The primary focus of the plan is to address the serious mismatch between the current funding allocation to and the expectations placed on the Department of Defence.
It must also be appreciated that the execution of this plan will have to happen within the following five work packages:
The first is focussed on Critical Organisational and Efficiency Interventions that can be executed within the current resource allocation to Defence.
The second is to revisit the functional Policies, Strategies and Plans that will ensure the implementation of the DR 2015. This can be done within the current allocation.
The third being those critical interventions that are focussed on operational support systems that are required to sustain current operations. This requires additional funding in the form of an increase to the baseline allocation to Defence of Rbn 10,67.
The fourth begins to address specific capital interventions to improve and renew priority capabilities required to execute current ordered operational commitments. These interventions require additional funding in the form of a baseline increase of Rbn 8,96.
The fifth are the interventions to maintain comprehensive defence capabilities in line with the constitutional mandate for Defence. These interventions require an additional baseline increase of Rbn 35,44.
We can today report on notable and tangible successes in the implementation of the Defence Review 2015, specifically with regard to Implementation of Milestone 1 which has resulted in the final Defence Plan to Arrest the Decline.
During FY 2016/17 we spent significant effort on building the “Defence Plan to Arrest the Decline”.
This Plan has also formed the foundation for us to engage with the National Planning Commission, the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation and the National Treasury in a comprehensive and robust manner.
Engagement with the National Treasury
Chairperson and Honourable Members
It is clear that a more closer relationship between the DOD and the NT is required to take the implementation of the Defence Review forward. To this end, the Minister of Finance and I instructed that an inter-departmental Budget Task Team be established. This task team is working towards achieving a long-term perspective on the required resources to implement the Defence Review through the following initiatives:
Firstly, developing specific policy options and funding trajectories from the fiscus, together with the National Treasury.
Secondly, developing and driving a comprehensive DOD efficiency programme in order to make the current DOD allocation more efficient and stretch further.
Thirdly, leveraging alternative defence revenue-streams by sweating assets, developing intellectual property, ensuring reimbursement from United Nations Peace Missions as well as other initiatives
The importance of this process is that we are endeavouring to develop a common DOD and NT proposal, endorsed by both Ministries that will inform our engagement of the MINTEC and MINCOMMBUD processes and the development of the next MTSF and the Mandate Paper.
Chairperson and Honourable Members
As indicated in the Defence Review, the full implementation would imply a doubling of the current allocation from the fiscus over the long term. In reality, the Defence allocation has been declining in real terms over the last 20 years by 5% per annum to a mere 1% of GDP, the appropriate funding level as articulated in the DR 2015 would require a steady state increase to at least 2% of GDP over time.
Whilst there is great appreciation for the competing pressures on the fiscus, the persistent and continued dramatic downward trend in real terms of the funding allocation to defence has reached a point where the DOD runs the risk of losing more of its essential capabilities in addition to those already lost.
Economic Impact of a Viable Defence Force in Peacetime
Chairperson and Honourable Members
South Africa will continue to employ inter alia the following principal security strategies:
Political, economic and military co-operation with other states, including the development of a common security regime, regional defence co-operation and the pursuit of confidence and security building measures (CSBMs) in Southern Africa.
The prevention, management and resolution of conflict through nonviolent means, including diplomacy and conflict resolution through the SADC Organ, the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council.
The use of force, or the threat of the use of force, as a legitimate measure of last resort when political and other interventions have been exhausted.
The SANDF already leverages peacetime activities on matters that impact on the lives of South Africans on a daily basis.
The provincial department of water sand sanitation identified the requirement to present water purification courses. A basic Water Purification Course was presented to 30 Reserve members from a reserve unit.
A total of 67 Reserve members were trained at seven units in five provinces as Community Development Practitioners in order that they can assist provincial governments in facilitating rural development initiatives;
A total of thirteen youth entrepreneurship service camps were presented in the North West province that trained 2600 learners.
On 1 April 2017, the process started to commercialise military messes in the North West province to give effect to the local procurement commodities.
Defence Annual Performance Plan 2017
The implementation of the Defence Review 2015 is now fully embedded into the established planning processes of the Department and will drive the ‘Defence Business Unusual over the next two MTSF periods. Similarly, reporting on the implementation of the Defence Review 2015 is also part of the reporting processes in the Department. In other words, we have institutionalised the ‘Defence Business Unusual Agenda’ within the Department.
Budgeting and Costing Tool
One of the important departmental projects is the development of an integrated DOD Budgeting and Costing Tool with which we intend to strengthen Defence financial management in the future. An important consideration will be the integration of our work with that of the NT as they develop the Integrated Financial Management Systems 2. To this end we developed a User Requirement Specification during 2016 and we will be taking this forward through the formal processes during FY 2017/18.
Optimised Utilisation of the DOD Works Capability
Chairperson and Honourable Members
The Defence Works Formation capacitation is at 83%, and at strength of 2078 currently. Continuous training and skilling of artisans is taking place. To date, a total of 988 members have been trained and qualified as artisans, technicians, site supervisors and project managers in various fields. The Defence Works Formation is conducting 168 projects throughout the 9 provinces of the RSA out of own resource allocations.
The Defence Works Formation has taken over the maintenance and refurbishment of 1 Military Hospital. However the complexities of the project remain a concern. I will be monitoring this closely.
During the FY2016/17, 1 871 vehicles were repaired in collaboration with Cuban armed forces, at a cost-saving of Rm 108 334. Cuba has deployed an additional 41 technical specialists across the country to resuscitate the Technical Service Corps capability. The Cuban specialists were able to repair the following equipment: the bio-medical workshop; vehicle diagnostic machinery; medical technology equipment; magnetic particle test bench, amongst others.
In June 2017 40 SANDF members will be graduating in the Republic of Cuba as Pilots and in Air Traffic Control, Technical Air and Mechanical Engineering made up 27 cadets and 13 officers.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the Cuban team responsible for the project. They are led by Brigadier General Borjas Ortega. Indeed the spirit of solidarity of El Commandante Fidel Castro Ruz continues to live amongst the Cuban people.
As part of the effort to enhance the landward defence program, the DOD has taken the initiative to locally build a multi-purpose support vehicle called Truck Africa. Apart from creating jobs, this initiative will help develop skills led by local defence industry. A prototype of Truck Africa has been produced with production planned to begin in the medium term.
The transfer of the Dockyard to South African Navy is underway as recommended by the Defence Review 2015. The multi-lateral agreement between the DOD, Denel and ARMSCOR has been signed and Denel is awaiting National Treasury approval.
Consultations with the employees of the dockyard are continuing to ensure that all labour matters are attended to.
The South African Navy has continued to deploy vessels in support of the Maritime Security Strategy. Over the past year the SA Navy has conducted three protracted patrols in the Mozambique Channel utilising a Frigate, an Offshore Patrol Vessel and the SAS DRAKENSBERG respectively.
Furthermore SAS Amatola one of our Frigates successfully participated in the SS MENDI Centenary Commemoration in the United Kingdom and Exercise GOOD HOPE in Germany.
Since the sod turning ceremony in December 2015 in Durban some work has been done in terms of the establishment of the Naval Base Durban. Amongst which is the refurbishment of the medical facility, several logistic support buildings (which should be ready for occupation this year) and upgrading of the IT related infrastructure. We are on course to upgrading of the naval station to a fully-fledged naval base.
Notwithstanding challenges in border safe guarding, the SANDF continues to register substantial operational achievements, particularly in the area of stock theft, recovery of stolen vehicles, and prevention of cross-border crime.
During this year, the DOD will submit a Border Safeguarding Strategy to the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Ministers for approval. It is still my intention that the required number of companies deployed must increase from 15 to 22, as per plan and to make our borders more secure. This cannot happen due to continuous reductions of the defence budget.
Support to humanitarian disasters both inside and outside of the country continues.
During the past year the SANDF used its helicopters to conduct medical evacuation operations in areas such as Nelspruit, Cape Town and the Magaliesberg Mountain Range. Blankets were airlifted to snow-bound citizens in the Mount Fletcher area to name but a few.
Successful operations were also conducted to rescue survivors of light air crash in the Cathedral Peak area, hikers at places such Giant Castle, Kloof – Pinetown area in KZN, Oribi in the Eatsern Cape and Marieskop in Mpumalanga to mention but a few. Oryx Helicopters were used extensively to assist in estinguishing fires in the areas of Sommerset West, Du Toit’s Kloof and Simons Town, Glen Cairne, Paarl and Wellington. About 1388 buckets of water thrown on these fires.
Development of Cyber Warfare and Sensor Capabilities
The DOD is part of the national effort to build a Cyber Defence Capability for the country under the auspices of a National Cyber Framework and has taken responsibility for the promulgation of a Cyber Warfare Strategy, which commenced, in the previous financial year.
During this year, the DOD will provide a comprehensive departmental Cyber Warfare Strategy and Sensor Strategy to the Justice, Crime, Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster Ministers for approval.
The DOD Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), to prevent or recover from an information warfare incident, will be Headquarters. However, the funding of the country’s cyber defence capability remains a challenge with severe resource constraints. There is agreement on Cyber Security and where it will be located, slow as the pace might have been significant progress has been made and further improvement will be done.
Chairperson and Honourable Members,
Consistent with the international relations policy of our democratic government which emphasises the interconnectedness of the RSA with countries of the world and particularly the African continent, the DOD has kept true to its approach of a layered defence through a substantial footprint of Defence Attaches. The SANDF has, and will continue to deploy over the current Medium term Expenditure Framework a complement of 44 Defence Attaches, 10 of which cover the 12 SADC countries on a residential and non-residential basis, 13 in the rest of Africa and 21 with the rest of the world.
Human Resource Renewal
The new long term HR strategy has been completed and maps out the rejuvenation of the Defence Force however due to reduced HR budget allocation the MSDS intake are expected to decrease in size that is negatively affecting force rejuvenation. This is exacerbated by the high rate of natural attrition which is about 3500 per annum.
Following the reduction in the aggregate expenditure ceiling, Department’s budget for compensation of employees was reduced by R1.9 billion in the FY2017/18.
This will result in the reduction of the MSDS intake and thus negatively affecting the rejuvenation of the Defence Force
By the end of January 2017, the Department had a total of 40 female uniform members in command positions out of a total of 225 being 17, 78%.
The percentage of female-generals is gradually increasing from 16% in 2013 to 19% in 2017.It is envisaged during this coming year a total of 11 female defence members out of the 61, will be deployed as Attachés. We will continue to make progress in this regard
The current Regulations for the Reserve Force have become out-dated especially in light of the extensive deployment of the Reserves. These regulations have been revised and aligned to meet new DOD requirements and will be shortly promulgated in the Government Gazette. In addition the process must be underway to see name changes to certain Reserve Force Units.
South African National Defence Force Education Trust
The SANDF Education Trust was established in October 2013 and since then has awarded bursaries to 90 beneficiaries.
As a result of the Armscor’s Turn-around Strategy, a number of African countries have shown interest in using Armscor’s services. Furthermore, Armscor has registered as a strategic supplier with UN Procurement to ensure increased participation of SA Defence Industry in supply of their requirements.
Corporate Social Investment
Armscor remains committed to providing military veterans support in various areas such as, economic empowerment, Corporate Social Investment, Skills Development as well as Employment.
National Defence Industry Council
Transformation of the defence industry remains a critical strategic goal. In line with this, we have now approved The Defence Sector Charter and submitted to the Minister of Trade and Industry for publication for public comment.
Following its launch in 2016, the National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) held its first annual work session, where we released the Draft Defence Industry Strategy document for public comment.
It provides pathways for transforming the industry, especially in relation to Black-owned, women-owned and military veteran-owned defence SMMEs.
This charter proposes new requirements for the BBBEE qualifications, and sets new black ownership targets at 25% for the first year of implementation, 30% in the second year and 35 % in the third year. It also specifically sets ownership for black women at 10% in the first year and 15% in the second and third year.
It also introduces a mechanism to promote localisation requiring 60% of defence materiel products to be procured from local suppliers. There will be an incentive to reward local companies that develop new technologies within the defence industry. This will support the stimulation of local manufacturing and increase global competitiveness.
It is our intention that we will officially launch the Charter on June 16 this year.
The AAD 2016 was the most successful to date and attracted an increased number of official delegations, trade visitors and exhibitors.
For the very first time the AAD2016 promoted Africa’s defence capabilities through Africa Unity Pavilion showcasing the technology products and services of the continent.
The total impact of AAD2016 to the economic output is in the region of R1.1b with R146m contribution to South Africa’s tax revenue. More than 2 400 jobs were created during this period.
The 10th edition of the Africa Aerospace & Defence Exhibition will be hosted at Waterkloof Airforce Base on 18-23 September 2018.
During 2016 the office of Military Ombud received 276 new complaints and further 118 were carried over from the previous financial year. A total of 198 complaints were finalised in the last financial year.
The office of the Ombud will host the 10th International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in June this year.
We also announce the appointment of the very first Deputy Military Ombud Ms P.R. Masutha.
The Defence Force Service Commission
Since 2014 the DFSC undertook 23 consultative visits to SANDF Units to interact with SANDF members across all rank levels on their conditions of service. During 2016 a number of recommendations to improve these conditions were processed.
Such recommendations include the decoupling of salary from rank, the review of the Military Skills Development Program and pronouncements on the improvements to living quarters for our soldiers.
Department of Military Veterans
The Turnaround Strategic Initiative we introduced two years ago as the Ministry to assist the DMV to deliver on its mandate in a more effective and efficient manner is beginning to yield concrete positive results.
Furthermore, the DMV managed to spend 85% of its allocated budget in 2016/17 financial year, as opposed to almost 60% expenditure the previous year 2015/16. The DMV management team is now hard at work to put in place the necessary systems, processes as well as policies to ensure that all the R622m allocated funds are spent prudently.
I am happy to announce that this year the long overdue process of amending the Military Veterans Act 18 of 2011 is now firmly on course and will be put before parliament during the course of this financial year.
The budget allocation for the entire vote in the financial year 2017/18 is R48 billion which is approximately 1% of the GDP. The MTEF allocations indicate that for financial year 2018/19 our budget will decline to less than 0.98% of GDP. These figures indicate a persistent decline of the defence budget.
Given the planning that has gone in embedding our change programs into our normal APP’s for both Departments, we have deemed this the YEAR OF CHANGE. Despite the challenges we have outlined here, we are not planning to fail. We need your support in this regard.
I thank you.