MEDIA RELEASE: “SALARIES IN THE SANDF HAVE NEVER BEEN BETTER”
The Sunday Times today carries a story titled “Defence pay “may threaten SA Security’ the story creates an impression that the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu is in possession of a report submitted by the Interim National Defence Force Service Commission that outlines salary concerns in the SANDF and nothing is being done about it and as a result it threatens “national security”.
The truth is that salaries have never been better in the SANDF, following the December 1, 2009 adjustment announced by the Commander in Chief, President Jacob Zuma soldiers are paid in line with other law enforcement agencies in the country. The new salaries effected from December 1, 2009 and later back dated to July 1, 2009 saw adjustments of between 2% and 65% with the lowest paid receiving the highest adjustment. Trainee soldiers within the Military Skills Development Programme received close to 100% increase. The truth is that since her appointment in May 2009 the Minister has prioritised the introduction of a new dispensation for the SANDF which will cater specifically for all the needs of the SANDF out of the public service.
The appointment of the Interim National Defence Force Service Commission has nothing to do with the strike by few undisciplined soldiers to the Union building. The Minister announced the process to introduce the new dispensation before the strike, the Commission was appointed with the mandate to prepare and lay the systems and the policies for the introduction of the permanent Commission and the new dispensation.
The report mentioned in the article was submitted to the Minister on the 9th of November 2009 by the Commission. The report identifies salaries and the ineffectiveness of the complaints and grievances resolution mechanism as the biggest concerns in the SANDF. New adjusted salaries have been implemented since July 1, 2009. A new grievance and complain mechanism has been introduced and an ombudsman platform for the SANDF is being finalised.
Cabinet approved the appointment of the Interim National Defence Force Service Commission. The report is on going work, when completed it will go to Cabinet before is released to the public. The Minister has explained this to the Portfolio Committee in a number of appearances before the committee and written communication.
Head of Media Services
Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans
Cell: 083 645 7838
July 25, 2010