SAAF escaping bulk of Waterkloof expenses

3652

The South African Air Force is escaping liability for the cost of the R1.1 billion upgrade of Waterkloof Air Force Base. A look at the “General Support” programme of the Defence and Military Veterans budget as contained in the National Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure, shows this is being carried against the Joint Logistic Services budget, not the SAAF’s.

The Treasury also notes a priority under this programme over the next three years is “repairing and maintaining the department’s infrastructure at 33 bases”. Many SANDF facilities, notably Doornkop military base in southern Johannesburg have fallen into an appaling state of disrepair in recent years. The ENE notes 13 fcilities are marked for revamping this year, nine next year and 11 in 2012/13. Fifty-two other “capital works” projects will also be undertaken, seven this year, 24 next year and 21 in 2012/13.

Audited

Revised estimate

Estimated

FY2006/7

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

Rebuilding of runways at AFB WKLF

nil

R8.1m

R313.2m

R430m

R350m

R52.1m

nil

Other priorities are:

  • providing appropriate, ready and sustained materiel, facilities, movement and logistic services focusing on supply chain and life cycle management to enable force preparation and employment.
  • Provide the department with key information and communication systems by:
    • ensuring that the mainframe service is available 98 per cent of the time and the wide area network 95 per cent of the time
    • providing information and communication systems solutions in accordance with the defence enterprise information systems master plan according to programme and project milestones and associated deliverables.
  • Reduce the number of new criminal cases under investigation by the military police by 10 per cent per year, by sustaining one provost company for deployment, four regional headquarters, 22 area offices and 22 detachments for investigations and crime prevention, and two military correctional facilities.

Focussing on audited outcomes for the year to March 2009, Treasury noted progress was “made in researching and formulating a new policy that will align the department with National Treasury’s
asset management guidelines on accrual accounting, resulting in a draft strategy that covers life cycle and supply chain management. Initial progress was made in converting chapters from National Treasury applicable to the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. However, only 63.5% was achieved for the serviceability of material due to the lack of accountability, focus and discipline, limited technical support, the diversity of deployed equipment and the resultant high skill level required, as well as the difficulty in optimising the supply of spares supply.
ICT & information warfare
“The implementation of the first phase of the defence enterprise information systems master plan in the Department of Defence and Military Veterans was an achievement that enabled a global view of overall ICT requirements, including funds utilised. The rollout of the Oracle time and labour electronic time keeping system between January and March 2008/09 is complete and initial reports from the system indicated the possibility of reporting against budget, “thus providing the department with the capability to mitigate risks and vulnerability on its own forces’ mobile devices and enable it to explore opposing forces’ mobile devices” [sic].
“Over the medium term, the department will develop and maintain information warfare capability to deal with challenges presented in the information age.
“In 2008/09, 256 military police members were deployed in external operations on a daily basis. In the same year, 1722 criminal and disciplinary cases involving personnel and equipment were finalised and 2594 new cases were reported. Outstanding cases at the end of 2007/08 reduced by 733 from 7838 to 6116 and 927 crime prevention operations were conducted throughout the country in 2008/09.

In the first half of 2009/10, the logistic intervention and repositioning programme started developing a single, comprehensive, rigorous and tailorable logistics process for the department. This process is set to end by 2016/17. The repair work on five bases continued according to the repair and maintenance programme and 17 bases were added to the maintenance programme, with a call for tenders in 2009/10. A strategic facilities implementation plan is currently being developed and executed, which includes the strategic footprint and user asset management plans in accordance with legislation to deliver appropriate functional accommodation in support of the readiness requirements of a credible force.

In the second half of 2008/09, improvement was noted on the availability of data and telephone services as a result of upgrading certain obsolete information and communications technology equipment. The availability of the department’s wide area network was at core 99.5% and at access 97.8%, higher than the target of 98% published in the department’s strategic business plan. The interoperability development environment was created in the first quarter of 2009/10 to provide a platform on which information systems can be tested and integrated into the battle space system where 72 military police members are deployed externally on a daily bases. From April to September 2009, 176 deliberate crime prevention operations had been conducted throughout the country and 185 military skills development system members are undergoing functional training at the military police school. Some 4999 cases have been investigated by the military police
and 581 new cases were reported. By the end of September 2009, the backlog had been reduced by
1540 cases, from 6116 to 4576.

The ENE notes the General Support programme accounts for 11% of the department’s total expenditure, which increases from R1.9 billion in 2006/07 to R4.4 billion in 2012/13, at an average annual rate of 15%. The increase of 19.6% in 2010/11 in spending in the Joint Logistic Services subprogramme, which is responsible for most of the expenditure in the programme, is due to the additional allocation related to the already described upgrading the runways and hardstands of Air Force Base Waterkloof.
New-generation telecomms and missile research

In 2012/13, expenditure in this subprogramme increased by 22.4% due to the additional allocation received for the repair and maintenance of defence infrastructure and facilities. Expenditure in the Technology Development subprogramme increased at an average annual rate of 38.6% between 2009/10 to 2010/11 due to an investment in the test and evaluation capability, electronic research and development, and missile technology research and development. The increase of 18.9% in expenditure in the Command and Management Information Services subprogramme in 2011/12 is due to a provision for research and development of new generation telecommunication systems.

Expenditure on consultants on large projects amounted to R12 million for 2008/09 and R35 million for 2009/10. Most of this expenditure has been used to pay consultants who assisted the department in cleaning up audit qualifications, designed and implemented internal controls, and trained defence members in compliance management, risk management and the auditing of financial statements. R7 million was also used in 2008/09 to develop and support an information warfare assistance programme, a collaboration between the department and the Council for Scientific and

Industrial Research, and to execute an environmental impact assessment at the ammunition depot and school.

Over the MTEF period, spending in the General Support programme will focus on finalising the upgrade of the Waterkloof Air Force Base, maintaining and repairing defence facilities, maintaining and enhancing command and management information systems and conducting crime prevention.

Audited

Revised estimate

Estimated

FY2006/7

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

Joint logistic services

R458.9m

R651.2m

R1432.6m

R1469.8m

R1758.4m

R1557.1m

R1906.6m

CMIS1

R574.1m

R641.6m

R875.8m

R825.7m

R852.8m

R1014m

R1079.5m

Military Police Agency

R230.7m

R248.8m

R291.2m

R310.2m

R343.4m

R384.4m

R394.5m

Technology Development

R184.m

R235.7m

R258.8m

R258.2m

R357.8m

R391.2m

R300.1m

Departmental support

R457.1m

R489.5m

R511.2m

R589.5m

R615.9m

R673m

R720.7m

BPSTT2

R5.6m

nil

R10.7m

R7.6m

R7.9m

R8.4m

R8.8m

TOTAL

R1911.4m

R2266.8m

R3380.4m

R3461m

R3936.2m

R4028.1m

R4410.1m

Change to Feb 2009 budget estimate:

+R1659.1m

+R2074.2m

+R2049.6m

+R252m

Note

1. CMIS: Command & Management Information Systems Division

2. BPSTT: British Peace Support & Training Team

Audited

Revised estimate

Estimated

FY2006/7

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

Salaries

R344.7m

R400.2m

R754.6m

R650.5m

R790.8m

R980.9m

R1061.4m

Machinery and equipment

R54.9m

R124.8m

R122.4m

R65.6m

R36.6m

R40.3m

R37.9m

Special Defence Account allocation

R249.2m

R274.6m

R404m

R365.1m

R438.3m

R509.8m

R420.9m

Armscor

R396.3m

R415.3m

R448.1m

R498.8m

R537.1m

R567.9m

R600.4m

Pic: The old secondary runway and 60 Squadron hangars at AFB Waterkloof seen from an Oryx helicopter, November 2008. The main runway was then being rebuilt. It can be see as a brown blur across the middle of the photograph.