Government to repeal Defence Special Account Act?

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The executive may this year table legislation in the National Assembly to repeal the Defence Special Account Act o 1974 that “provides for special defence activities as well as the authorised acquisition of main equipment and associated services.”
The 2008 Department of Defence annual report notes in its section on policy developments that the “repeal of the … Act … is under consideration.”
But since the tabling of the report in Parliament late last year, defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota has resigned and founded a new political party while Defence Secretary January Masilela died in a car accident.
Defence ministry spokesman Sam Mkhwanazi could this morning not confirm whether the matter is still under consideration by new defence minister Charles Nqakula and acting defence secretary Tsepe Motumi.            
Institute for Security Studies defence programme head Maj Gen Len le Roux (Ret) says he can think of no reason to repeal the law. “I cannot think of the motivation for this. The SDA is the only account that allows for the flexibility needed for long term budget activities such as arms procurement where payment sometimes needs to be run over from one year to another and where money can be committed in advance.”
Democratic Alliance deputy defence spokesman Hendrik Schmidt says the act has several benefits although it places certain limits on access to information. “Should the idea be to dispose of these strict criteria … such a step would be supported.”  
The annual report shows that in the 2007/8 financial year the account contained R6.6billion allocated to the Strategic Defence Package and a further R4.4 billion for “other Category 1 Matériel requirements”.