Statement after the first meeting of the Minister and the National Defence Force Service Commission, Pretoria
5 Oct 2009
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans [L Sisulu] and the leadership of the National Defence Force and the Department of Defence today met with the newly appointed National Defence Force Service Commission (NDFSC) that is tasked with reviewing the current condition of service of members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and work towards a new dispensation for the Defence force. Addressing the Commission the Minister said together with the leadership of SANDF and the Department of Defence she has been working on how best to develop a comprehensive solution that will improve the condition of service of the SANDF. This, she said, is done in recognition of the distinction between the rest of the Public Service and the Security and Intelligence Services and that legislators have determined that the Labour Relations Act should not be applicable to the Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency and the SA Secret Services.
She said in her budget vote speech she committed to dealing with this matter.
Budget Vote, July 3, 2009
“I want to assure the Defence Force staff that their conditions of service are a concern. We are seized with the matter and I would like to engage each one of them through the proper management structures to see how we can attend to these. We are acutely aware that the state of readiness of the SANDF depends primarily on the morale of our soldiers.
"Having assessed our options, we are considering making a request for a separate dispensation for the Department of Defence that would allow us to creatively deal with our own needs and the specificities of our own unique security requirements.”
The Minister discussed the terms of reference with the commission and reassured them that the leadership of the Defence Force, the Department of Defence and the soldiers will cooperate and work with them to finalise their work within three months.
The Minister said that given the enormity of the task, she is seeking the guidance and assistance of an impartial commission as well as parliament to assist in formulating appropriate regulations, which will regulate condition of service and a new dispensation for the SANDF.
She added that until such time as the Defence Act is properly amended to make provision for a permanent National Defence Force Service Commission, which will be responsible for considering the issues which affect members of the Defence Force, the current commission will remain in force.
The Commission, among other things, will consider the following (courtesy of the Moseneke Commission):
* to investigate and make recommendations regarding remuneration and the conditions of service of members of the Defence Force.
* to make recommendations to ensure that personnel procedures relating to recruitment, transfers, promotions and dismissals comply with the values and principles set out in sections 195, 198 and 200 of the Constitution and the provisions of the Defence Act and any other applicable laws and regulations;
The appropriate remuneration, allowances and benefits to be paid to members of the armed forces will require the following:
* an analysis of the purpose, duties, responsibilities, powers and activities attached to the various positions in the armed forces
* the evaluation and grading of all posts
* an analysis of existing conditions of service, salaries, allowances and other benefits before and after tax deductions, pertaining to the Defence Force
* a comparison with compatible positions elsewhere
* the conversion of existing remuneration structure(s) or system(s) to a ‘total remuneration’ system/structure
* a comprehensive implementation plan and costing for the conversion to the “total remuneration” structure.
The Commission will interact with the Council of Defence and brief it on its work from time to time. It will also interact with the soldiers through the due protocols of the Defence Force and other relevant role players and interested parties. This will enable the commission to make appropriate recommendations to the executive.
The Commission will function until the Defence Act has been amended to create a National Defence Force Service Commission.
The National Defence Force Service Commission (NDFSC), on an interim basis, consists of:
1. Judge R Bosielo (Chairperson)
2. Gen B Holomisa
3. Mr I Aboobaker
4. Mr P Groenewald
5. Ms H Mgabadeli
6. Prof R Christie
7. Dr A Mokgokong
8. Gen L Moloi
9. Bishop M Mpumlwana
10. Prof D Swartz
Enquiries: Ndivhuwo Mabaya
Cell: 083645 7838
Issued by: Department of Defence and Military Veterans
5 October 2009
Issued by: Department of Defence
5 Oct 2009
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