Defence and associated entities’ annual reports cost R1 million plus over three years

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Production of annual reports and financial statements in the defence and military veterans portfolio cost over R1.6 million over the past three financial years.

The costs, supplied by Minister Thandi Modise in reply to a Parliamentary question from Democratic Alliance National Assembly (NA) public representative Richard Majola, show suppliers including the Government Printing Works (GPW), printed “books” (hard copy) and CDs for four entities. They are the Department of Defence (DoD), Department of Military Veterans (DMV), Armscor, and the Castle Control Board (CCB).

DoD annual reports have shrunk in number from 146 hard copies and 50 CDs in 2020/21 costing R245 113 to only 30 hard copies for 2022/23. This cost just R883, a massive drop from the R245 000 plus in 2020/21 and R49 277 in 2021/22 for 50 “books”. No CDs were burnt for either the 2022/23 or 2021/22 financial years.

By contrast, production of hard copy annual reports at the DMV, while decreasing, is substantially more than its sister defence department. In 2020/21, R121 000 was spent on 500 “books” and a hundred CDs. The next financial year saw “book” quantities decrease to 300 and CDs remain at 100, costing R111 000. For the 2022/23 financial year the DMV spent over R188 000 to produce the same number of publications.

Armscor is consistent in the number – 150 – of hard copy annual reports it produces. Interestingly, the defence and security SOE (State-Owned Enterprise) spent R35 600 less on its annual report and financial statements in 2021/22 (R121 192) than in the 2020/21 year. For 2022/23 it increased to R150 000.

The CCB, according to the Parliamentary response, has not provided printed copies of its annual report since 2019/20, with the costs incurred all for design of the publication. For the three financial years requested, design of the CCB annual report averaged R20 140 each.

All four annual reports are posted on the websites of their specific entities, usually seven to eight months after the financial year-end of 31 March.