Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) are to receive their salary increases, ranging from two to 65% this week, the state BuaNews agency reports. In December last year, President Jacob Zuma announced that the salary adjustments would be backdated to July 1 2009. About 55 000 defence personnel are expected to receive salary increases.
“The fact that within days the leadership of the Department worked hard to find the money, and kick started the process to pay soldiers is an indication of their commitment to improve the conditions of service of soldiers,”says Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu. She said the leadership of the SANDF were continuing to implement a programme to improve the living conditions of soldiers.
“We have introduced new grievances and complain management systems to ensure that soldiers’ problems and complaints are managed and concluded as quickly as possible. This has been a problem for more than 16 years in the SANDF. We are now dealing with it. Many of our bases are being upgraded; we want to ensure that soldiers have all basic social and economic amenities,” she said. The Minister said amendments to the Defence Act to establish the National Defence Force Service Commission will ensure the implementation of a new dispensation for the SANDF.
“With the new dispensation; we would be able to care for our soldiers in a way that recognise the contribution they make to our national security. This is one issue the leadership of the SANDF has been concerned about since my appointment, and we are happy the process is going to be completed soon,” she said.
A DoD internal bulletin notes the Individual Grievances Regulations, published in the Government Gazette No 33334 of June 30 came into effect from July 1.
“The Regulations give effect to the Individual Grievances Procedure which is a single procedure for both uniformed members and PSAP in the DoD,” the bulletin says. “The Individual Grievances Regulations are vertically and horisontally aligned with the relevant legislation. They accommodate the needs of Service and Division specific requirements. They are user friendly and understandable to ensure that grievances are handled within the prescribed timeframes, and address control and accountability as well as non-compliance.
“A Grievance IT System has been developed as a component of the Action Request System (ARS). This system will be made available to identified users of the system to support the individual grievances pro-cedure electronically. The system will be implemented by July 16 to lodge, update, track and monitor the status of grievances. Representatives at Services and Divisions have already been trained with the view to training other users of the system.
“Training on how to lodge a grievance and the responsibilities of the various role- players will be conducted by means of training DVDs, the Instruction, the Intranet and a road show by DLSR. Training DVDs will be distributed to every unit via the Labour Relations Offices in due course and will be available to any individual who may require advice on the process of lodging or addressing a grievance. An aggrieved person will then be the driver of his/her own grievance in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations.
Pic: SA Army peacekeepers in Sudan