Budget Vote Debate: Defence and Military Veterans
Debate in Parliament
4 May 2010
Mr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus MP
“The announcement of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu, that she wants to again institute a national military service, is not possible.
At present there aren’t even enough funds available to keep the defence force operationally on standard, so much less would there be enough funds available to institute a military service. The military’s existing budget is already showing a shortfall of R3 billion and in the next two years the shortfall will be R4 billion up to 2012. From this it is clear that the defence force and the country will not be able to afford a national military service,” Mr. Pieter Groenewald (MP), the FF Plus’ spokesperson on Defence says.
“The newly announced salary increases in the defence force requires R1,9 billion but the Treasury has only allowed R600 million, in other words a shortfall of R1,6 billion. The result is that operational budgets in the defence force are now being used to pay for salaries. The result is so bad that critical minimum levels of available ammunition cannot be maintained. Operational fighter pilots can only be operational during the day but not at night. The shortfall has also lead to members of the Military Service Development System (MSS) not receiving enough shooting training. There is at present not even enough money to give them a proper training, so much less can one talk about a national military service system,” Groenewald said.
“The minister will have to intervene drastically to get politics out of the defence force. The defence force is politicized in that one’s politics determines whether one goes on courses or not. One’s politics determines whether one is promoted and ones military number and skin colour indicates which politics one supports. At present military numbers are different to the old statutory and non-statutory forces. Before politics is not removed, the defence force will not be a professional defence force which is based upon merit,” Groenewald said.
MR. PIETER GROENEWALD
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