Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will this week announce details of “a formidable team” to lead a turnaround programme at the Department of Military Veterans (DMV).
Speaking to a women’s empowerment workshop she said the July military veterans’ indaba had painted the broad strokes addressing the plight of veterans.
“We have clearly identified the need to improve the capacity of the DMV to lead this programme (addressing the plight of veterans). Many of you whom I have been consulting on the constitution of the team for a turnaround of the department can attest to the complexities we have had to deal with in finding the right mix of people who are available for this work.
“I am glad we have now put a formidable team to be led by comrade Sipho Majombozi to drive the turnaround within the DMV. I will be making a formal announcement of the team after my first meeting with them in Pretoria. The team will also be supported by a technical team in the full time Programme Management Office constituted by experts from the Defence Decision Support Institute of Armscor,” she told delegates to the workshop in Ekurhuleni.
A previous edition of the SANDF publication, SA Soldier, terms Majombozi “an ANC activist cum businessman”. According to Who’s Who South Africa he is owner/director of firms and a military practitioner.
While Mapisa-Nqakula did not go into detail it appears Majombozi will head the turnaround team but will not replace outgoing DMV director general Tsepe Motumi, whose contract has expired.
“Given his previous experience as a former secretary of defence and chief of defence international affairs, the director general will now join the Ministry as a special advisor within my office,” the Minister told the veterans’ indaba.
At that gathering she said the recruiting process to find a new director general was underway and “considering the process of securing Cabinet approval, we will have appointed a new director general by the end of September”.
The DMV has come under fire with Motumi and a deputy director general suspended while a forensic investigation into alleged irregularities was investigated. He was subsequently cleared and resumed work. The department tasked with seeing to the overall well-being of all South Africa’s military veterans qualified for the lowest performing government department award presented by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. This after weaknesses were found in 15 of 31 prescribed measurement standards last year.
Mapisa-Nqakula said the turnaround team will investigate the scope of and address current weaknesses of the DMV in its vision and design, delivery model, systems and operational procedure and propose those areas that need to be addressed as quick-win interventions within the next three to six months.
“The turnaround team will be in place for 12 to 18 months and during the first six months they will report on a bi-weekly basis to a programme steering committee chaired by myself personally.
“We have also committed to bring in additional managers from both the public and private sector on a short term basis to anchor current management and provide scaffolding support and skills and knowledge transfer,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
Competency assessment will also be done on current management to identify what the Minister called development gaps and to “ensure all skills and competencies are utilised in appropriate positions”.
She added there will be “no guarantee” of management positions during the restructuring.
“All managers will conclude the necessary performance agreements in line with the new implementation plan emerging from the strategic retreat and the turnaround programme as informed by the indaba.”