Personnel budget squeezes SANDF


As defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu contemplates her R2.5 million Service Commission and military personnel allied to the South African National defence Union demand a 30% salary increase, an internal military report notes that human resource spending is already eroding operational capabilities.

The Department of Defence`s Corporate Human Resource Support Plan (HRSP) for the current financial year warns that the “first challenge is to reach affordability levels in HR expenditure.

“The department continues to exercise stringent control over its HR expenditure, which remains unnaturally high in the light of pressures in the light of pressure to maintain expertise, whilst at the same time conducting military operations.

“The constant pressure to incentivise scarce and professional musterings and occupational classes to provide expert services continues to erode operating funds to conduct the core business of the department.

“The DoD HR Item 10 allocation for the financial year 2008/09 was R10.808 billion, which constituted 33% including SDPs [Strategic Defence Package, the controversial R47.4 billion “arms deal”] and 56% excluding the SDPs of the Defence Allocation [R32 billion in FY2009/10].  

Of the HR allocation received R10.781 billion (99.7%) was expended. … It is forecast that continued pressure to increase HR Item 10 expenditure will persist for the financial year 2009/10.

The report concedes that “market forces beyond its control … has led to exits in scarce and professional mutterings and occupational classes of both military and civilian components of the department. Ultimately, the situation would impede effective defence service delivery.”