The quarterly and annual reports of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) will from now on carry more detailed information on South African arms sales to foreign countries.
This undertaking was given to DA shadow defence and military veterans minister David Maynier by Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, Jeff Radebe, who chairs the NCACC.
Until now reports have contained only information relating to the category and vale of all conventional arms sales. Maynier said the reports should have reflected information as to the country, type, description, quantity and value of arms sales.
He gave the example of a recent, what he termed “controversial”, sale of armoured combat vehicles to Equatorial Guinea.
“It would have been reported in the NCACC’s 2013 fourth quarterly report as a Category C sale with a ZAR value of 42 300 000 to Equatorial Guinea. That’s all.
“With the enhanced reporting requirements the transaction would have been reported as armoured combat vehicles, mine protected Reva lll (nine vehicles) and Reva lV (three vehicles) sold to Equatorial Guinea with the value of each also given.
“Previously, we would never have known the transaction between South Africa and Equatorial Guinean involved 12 Reva armoured combat vehicles,” Maynier said calling it “a major step forward for transparency on conventional arms sales from South Africa”.
As usual with Maynier he had a sting in the tail for the NCACC.
“Given the human rights standard in our legislation regulating conventional arms sales, I will request an investigation by the NCACC inspectorate into the sale of armoured combat vehicles to Equatorial Guinea.”
For the first time since the establishment of the NCACC in 1995 detailed information on conventional arms sales will be disclosed to Parliament.
“The new enhanced NCACC reports will boost Parliament’s capacity to conduct oversight on South African conventional arms sales,” Maynier said.