Ministerial imperatives for Modise include halting defence capability decline

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Thandi Modise’s Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans (MoDMV) is tasked with providing strategic direction to, among others, direct national defence policy with the aim of a sustainable national defence force.

This would entail the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) being part of an “effective, efficient and economically managed department” according to the 2022 Department of Defence (DoD) Annual Performance Plan (APP). The plan was tabled in Parliament on 16 March and three weeks later the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) were given sight of it.

Another ministerial priority listed for Modise is “halting the decline in critical defence capabilities” by way of directed interventions in at-risk capabilities.

The Minister, now in the 10th month of her tenure as number one in government’s defence portfolio, is further asked by the plan to provide direction to “initiate the defence trajectory through organisational capability interventions”.

Other tasks coming Minister Modise’s way are organisational renewal by way of directing “positioning” of Defence Secretary Gladys Kudjoe and “organisation” of the national defence force. This, the plan has it, will see optimisation of the Defence Secretary – without giving any detail – and the same for the SANDF command and control system.

“Duplication of structures must be eliminated,” the plan states adding “accountability, effectiveness and efficiency” in a corruption-free department are to be “enhanced”.

Given the ongoing lack of financial commitment to the DoD and, in turn, the SANDF and other entities dependent on the defence budget, revenue generation is named as a route to finance “insufficient fiscal allocation”. To this end the plan recommends a focused effort to identify alternate funding and revenue generation streams. These include “maximised reimbursements against agreed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and “sweating departmental assets” – again with no detail given.