NCACC chair must not have “line function interest” in arms trade


Ten Cabinet ministers and deputies make up the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), Government’s regulatory body for the sale and import of arms, ammunition and related services.

Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, chairs the committee which earlier this month (May) reported to Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) it approved export of over R3 billion worth of South African military hardware last year.

Other NCACC members are Naledi Pandor (International Relations and Co-operation), Pravin Gordhan (Public Enterprises), Ebrahim Patel (Trade, Industry and Competition), Bheki Cele (Police) and Blade Nzimande (Higher Education, Science and Technology) and Thandi Modise after she replaced Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in the defence and military veteran’s portfolio in August 2021, at ministerial level. Deputy ministers on the NCACC are Thabang Makwetla (Defence and Military Veterans), Candith Mashego-Dlamini (International Relations and Co-operation) and David Masondo (Finance).

The NCACC was established in 1995 to ensure South African arms trade and transfer policies are in line with internationally accepted practices.

Its organisational structure has four area of responsibility. They are an initial permit application technical processing level; a multi-departmental review and recommendation process on permit application;  a scrutiny and recommendation process by directors-general; and a control, policy and decision making authority exercised by the NCACC.

An undated government statement has it “the procedure and structure ensure authority over arms trade and transfer policies is vested in the collective ministerial leadership of the NCACC which is accountable to Cabinet. The ultimate responsibility for decisions remains with the NCACC chaired by a Minister who does not have a line function interest concerning the arms trade”.

The NCACC, the same statement said, meets monthly where information including rationale and principles governing arms trade are discussed as well as submissions for export and import licences.