Cabinet approves new Defence Amendment Bill


Cabinet has approved the tabling of another Defence Amendment Bill for submission to Parliament.

The Bill, the second in two years, seeks to provide for the inclusion of the Chief of Corporate Staff in the Military Command of the South African National Defence Force as described in the Defence Amendment Act 22 of 2010.
“The Chief Corporate Staff, as the staff officer of the Chief of the SANDF, is critical for the proper functioning and co-ordination of the activities of the Defence Force. For this reason, the proposed amendment is intended to include the Chief of Corporate Staff in the Military Command,” Cabinet said in a statement after its meeting last week.

The Defence Amendment Act, signed into law in December last year, makes provision for the creation of a permanent National Defence Force Service Commission that will investigate and make recommendations to the minister on the conditions of service of military personnel as a grouping separate from the large public service.

It also clarified the meaning of “military command” and who makes what senior appointments in the SANDF and also amended the service regime for the Reserve Force.

The South African Press Association reported the Bill was briefly held up in a wrangle between Sisulu and Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, which took the unusual step of refusing to process the Bill until she had given them insight into reports by the Interim National Defence Force Service Commission. However, MPs backed down after the Speaker and the ANC intervened in support of the minister. The chair of the committee was subsequently demoted.