Portfolio committee told of DoD interventions to cut salary bill


The Human Resources Division of the Department of Defence (DoD) is implementing five “interventions” to cut its high salary bill, with compensation of employees (CoE) making up over 60% of the R49 billion defence budget.

The interventions, according to Vice Admiral Asiel Kubu, director of the human resource component of the national defence force, will result in an “average planned” personnel strength of 73 000 over the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) and see Reserve Force mandays cut to 1.9 million over the same period.

The three-star admiral confirmed to this week’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) meeting the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) major contribution to the national development plan (NDP) will from now on only see a military skills development (MSD) intake once every two years (1 997 members in March 2022; 2 207 in January 2024; and 2 207 in January 2026). Other cost-saving measures include re-activating the mobility exit mechanism (MEM) and employee-initiated severance package (EISP) exit strategies.

Committee members heard a ceiling of R30.6 billion is set for CoE for the coming financial year (2022/23), dropping by a billion in the 2023/24 year. Additional funding of R1.8 billion from National Treasury will go to implementing exit strategies over the coming two financial years.

In 2022/23 the exit of 944 SANDF members is planned at an average cost of R1.2 million per person and will start from 1 April 2022. The following year 650 staff will exit.

Kubu notes in his presentation the DoD made “great strides to inculcate implementation across services and divisions (of the SANDF)” and in “engagements with National Treasury”.

Human resource interventions are expected to save R1.1 billion in 2022/23; R1.5 billion in 2023/24, and R1.8 billion in 2024/25.