DoD performance plan emphasises prime mission equipment and operating systems maintenance

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One of six priorities set by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise in the 2024 Department of Defence (DoD) Annual Performance Plan (APP) is maintenance of main operating systems and prime mission equipment (PME).

The APP, designated a “draft”, was published by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on 6 May after being tabled on 15 March, and runs to 212 pages.

In her foreword Modise writes her priorities “for the period of this 2024 APP” continue to direct implementation of four end-states. They are future defence; organisational renewal; efficiency, effectiveness and economy; and Armscor and the [South African] defence industry.

Elaborating on the main operating systems/PME priority, the Minister wrote the maintenance of these, along with support for national cyber resilience and leveraging defence capabilities to support the national developmental agenda, are “crucial” to the DoD commitment to socio-economic upliftment and safeguarding security and sovereignty.

This ranks as priority number six with number one – the “foremost” according to the Minister, concluding evaluation of the SA Defence Review 2015. This will see an actionable plan formulated “for consultation with the National Executive” by end-October.

This ties in with end-state one which goes about a revised level of defence ambition and revised defence strategic trajectory after Cabinet approval for the SANDF being funded sustainably over multiple medium term strategic frameworks and implemented “programmatically”.

When it comes to efficiency, effectiveness and economy, Modise notes the DoD “is on a deliberate and clear trajectory to comply with budget and allocation ceilings as set by government”.

As far as an organisational renewal is concerned, the Minister writes that a DoD business case report is consulted on and signed off between the Minister of Public Service and Administration (Noxolo Kiviet) and herself.

On the Reserve Force component of the national defence and military structure she has it its “operational utility” has to be emphasised.

Acting Secretary for Defence Thobekile Gamede, in her APP opening remarks, acknowledged current national and departmental fiscal constraints, and said her focus areas are aligned with those of the Minister, namely evaluating the 2015 Defence Review to develop an actionable plan to capacitate the DoD; directing organisational structural renewal; reducing audit qualifications through improved internal governance, risk and compliance structures, processes and controls; combating irregular expenditure and corruption; eradicating of gender-based violence and femicide; and modernising the Department’s Information and Communication Technology systems to enable digital integration and enabling sound resource management, efficiency and accountability.