Budget Vote 21 - Defence And Military Veterans

By Hon Velaphi Ndlovu MP

   

4th May 2010

 

Honourable Speaker,

 

South Africa's military might is incontestable upon the African Continent and as Africa's military super power we have the burdensome responsibility of ensuring peace, security and stability throughout the region.

 

In this vein, The IFP salutes the continuing initiatives of the Department of Defence with its peacekeeping operations, such as operation Cordite, beyond our borders in conjunction with the African Union and the United Nations. South Africa, as the leading military power in the region has an incumbent duty to assist other African Nations in the Defence of their own peace, security and democracy as well as in the protection of fundamental human rights.

 

Our Defence Force training is comparable with any elite Defence force training in the world and the IFP is extremely proud of the men and woman who keep our country safe from harm.

 

Operation Kgwele helping to ensure the safety and security of our upcoming FIFA World Cup event, the South African Navy patrolling our waters and assisting law enforcement in apprehending poachers, and the South African Air force with its dedicated search and rescue teams with it's ongoing operations Arabella and Chariot, are all shining examples our military in action.

 

The IFP supports the division of Military Veterans and Defence into separate departments. The Department of Defence must concentrate upon its core function, namely that of the National Security of South Africa and it's people. The IFP will urge the Minister to re-open the registration of veterans so that we are able to include those who have been left behind.

 

Landward Defence's "Operation Corona" is to be welcomed, it is long overdue and a much needed step in curbing the illegal entry of people and goods across our borders. South African Police Services are already overburdened with our internal security matters and should be allowed to concentrate on same without having to stretch their resources to protection of our borders as well. SANDF members are specially trained for these purposes and should provide a far more effective and cost efficient service. The minister advised last week that this operation would be a major challenge to the SANDF; we hope this statement was made in jest as we would think that our army should be ready for deployment at a moments notice.

 

We applaud the Department for the 4000 new recruits that joined the Defence Force in January this year. We also congratulate the Minister on raising the salaries of the troops; this boosts morale and leads to a content and effective fighting force.

 

It is unfortunate that this department has received unqualified audits for the last couple of years apparently due to mismanagement by departmental staff in this area. We accordingly urge the minister to co-operate with SCOPA in these matters because it reflects negatively on the department when it fails to rectify it's shortcomings as pointed out by SCOPA.

 

If I may end by saying Minister that only great people from great nation's stand up for the rights and protection of human beings beyond their own borders. You and your Department are the tip of the sword for our Defence, Freedom and Democracy as well as the Freedom, safety and democracy of the region.

 

Make us proud.

 

The IFP supports the vote.

 

I thank you.

 

Contact: Mr Velaphi Ndlovu, 083 625 0803.