NDIC launch delay another indicator of DoD lack of intent or commitment?

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One wonders just how many of those present at last Thursday’s launch of the National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) had a good look at the “goodie bag” presented to them.

Printed in clearly visible white text on a black background on the side of the pseudo leather satchel is “National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) launch 2015”.

And it’s not an error because the NDIC was in fact scheduled to make its entrance on the larger South African defence stage last year. It didn’t, for whatever reason, and is now at last an entity that will apparently do its level best to ensure the local defence industry is given every opportunity to grow and prosper.

While there might have been credible reasons for postponing last year’s launch, when the establishment of the NDIC is aligned to delays in the much-vaunted 2014 Defence Review (renamed from the 2012 Defence Review) finally making it to Parliament, this shows that speed is not given the priority it should have with at least some defence issues.

It is widely accepted that bureaucracy works at its own speed but surely when it comes to national security there must be another gear in addition to “forward, slow ahead” to use a nautical term.

A humble suggestion from defenceWeb to the Department of Defence and Military Veterans would be to run a series of courses for Members of Parliament and other public representatives, such as Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs) and even city and town councillors. Here the country’s public representatives could be made aware of the need for a strong, well-equipped and well-trained defence force.

This would ensure defence has a higher priority in the country’s debating chambers, lead to more informed debate rather than party political rhetoric and hopefully, lead to better decisions being taken around the Constitutional imperative of “making South Africa’s people feel safe and secure”.

It has been put to this publication that many MPs wouldn’t know the difference between an R5 and a G5. Surely teaching them would be advantageous to the overall defence and security sector.
defenceWeb hopes its suggestion will be received in the spirit it is given by the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Corporate Communications Directorate – the men and women responsible for making defence force related information available to the media and hence all South Africans.