The actual number of people involved in the Ministerially appointed Defence Review Implementation Project Team (DRIPT), is “not an issue” with the skills and knowledge to do the job coming first according to the Head of Communications (HOC) at the Department of Defence (DoD).
Last month Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told the annual general meeting of the SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) implementation of recommendations in the Defence Review “start now”.
“Cabinet directed I should ensure the military strategy, force structure, force design, capability strategy and acquisition plans and funding trajectory are translated into an extended long-term defence development programme which is aligned and integrated into government’s planning cycle,” she said.
She told the meeting there was no choice “but to respond with urgency to put plans to arrest the decline within the current five years starting in this financial year”.
Attempts by defenceWeb to establish the interpretation of urgency as regards the number of people involved in DRIPT and their affiliations as well as any timelines set to date from HOC Siphiwe Dlamini were replied to with DoD-type spin.
“DRIPT is the oversight body made up of two main work streams. On one hand the Defence Secretariat planning team deals with governance issues and the Military Command planning team, on the other, deals with mainly the military strategic framework.
“Within these two work streams there will be further work streams to look into the details of each. These will report to DRIPT which in turn will report to Plenary Defence Staff Council which will debate and discuss the DRIPT representations and process to the Council on Defence for final approval.
“DRIPT is chaired by a member of the Secretariat and the Military Command. Members making up the teams are brought in for the required skills and knowledge relevant to the Defence Review work but there are permanent structures for the work to be done,” was Dlamini’s response to the defenceWeb enquiry.
He did not elaborate on any deadlines for DRIPT other than point to milestone one as set out in the Review. This is to, in his words, “rescue the decline” in the SANDF in the next five years with “specific short term deadlines over that period”.
“Dealing with a task like this is not a once-off event but a process,” he said.