JSCD hears Armscor and DoD reach “synergy” on parts

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Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) heard the way forward for spares availability as well as maintenance and repair contracts for SA National Defence Force (SANDF) equipment is now in a state of “synergy” which should see force readiness levels improve.

This is as per a presentation in the wake of an Armscor/Department of Defence (DoD) workshop recommended by the JSCD. The workshop follows a March presentation by Armscor regarding “initiatives to improve spares availability for SANDF prime mission equipment (PME)”. This led to the JSCD “advising” Armscor and the DoD – both resorting under the ministerial control of Thandi Modise – “to find alignment” as the presentation was not in line with “current realities” on PME serviceability.

The workshop duly took place in April with the JSCD informed, “drafting of an agreed action plan” the outcome.

JSCD members were told of eight “areas of concern” addressed in the workshop.

These included “appointment of the same non-performing supplier multiple times”; a lack of early warning for late deliveries; long lead times specially for Joint Operations and Special Forces; a need to process submissions to Armscor for parts within 72 hours – “if possible”; poor performance should be penalised including by termination clauses in contracts and over-reliance on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). On contract management the presentation to the JSCD had it there is “no urgency to solve disputes with contractors affecting operational availability” and a “protracted timeline” exists for order/contract placing for parts as well as maintenance and repair.

In conclusion the presentation has it parts procurement should be “proactive rather than reactive” adding “the key to in-time on-time availability of critical spares is proactive identification of requirements and early start of associated procurement processes”.