Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula maintains there is nothing untoward in salary and other personnel cost increases at Armscor.
She was reported as saying the 23% salary increase for employees of the state-owned defence and security acquisition agency were due to normal annual salary increments, escalation of medical aid costs and compliance with legislation. IOL reported her as saying the increases were partially aimed at redressing unjustifiable wage gaps between employees doing the same or similar work.
She was responding to a question asked last October by opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Kobus Marais, the party’s shadow defence and military veterans minister.
His question about the increases was prompted because Armscor’s time, efforts and expenditure on core activities – the acquisition of assets for equipment for the national defence force – has decreased substantially.
“It seems Armscor is using reserves for salary/human resource increases when this should go to capital acquisitions,” Marais said at the time.
In her response, the Minister pointed out the parity project to redress wage gaps was initiated as part of a new labour law amendment, an increase in medical aid premiums of just over nine percent over the past six financial years and internal promotions in line with corporate promotion practice.
She stressed salary increases were budgeted for saying Armscor did not utilise reserves to fund them.
Marais told defenceWeb he was not happy with the Ministerial response.
“I have other information and will be taking the matter further,” he said.