Work done by the Defence Force Service Commission (DFSC) deserves commendation but needs more support for it to, among others, ensure improved soldier morale.
This is recommended by Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) which last week heard the DFSC does not have legislative or other powers to enforce implementation of its recommendations.
In a statement JSCD joint chairs Cyril Xaba and Mamagase Nchabeleng said work done by the DFSC on improving conditions of service in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) was commendable and “will find expression in improved morale in the SANDF which will then ensure the armed forces implement their mandate effectively”.
In support of this aim the permanent parliamentary committee wants “reinforced support” for the DFSC which will allow for improvement.
“We as the committee want a win-win situation which will benefit our soldiers and ultimately the country,” said Nchabeleng taking into account “successive budget cuts” Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s department has been subjected to by National Treasury. This, the co-chair said, should assist review and implementation of an approved structure for the Commission, especially as regards grading of critical posts.
During oversight visits to a number of military bases, the JSCD heard of issues including unacceptable living conditions, rank stagnation, derelict infrastructure as well as pay and service benefits.
These the JSCD wants the DFSC to consider and make recommendations to the Minister.
“In this context the relationship between the Ministry and DFSC must be improved so conditions of service of soldiers improve,” the statement said.