Hon Chairperson and hon members, the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans has interrogated the outputs of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans and its two entities Armscor, and the Castle of Good Hope, as per section 5 of the Money Bills Act.
Armscor has to satisfy the defence materiel requirements of the SA Defence Force, SANDF, and any other organ, and it has fairly competently acquitted itself of this task. Challenges that require attention include the funding and staffing of Simon's Town dockyard, and the transformation of its staff profile as well as the targets set for Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment. It received an unqualified audit report, and total revenue increased by 9,9%.
The Castle's objectives are to preserve and protect the heritage of the Castle, to optimise its tourism potential and to enhance the accessibility of the Castle to the public. Although it has met these objectives to a large extent, it does not have clearly stipulated targets, nor is the gender and racial composition acceptable. It does not have a strategic plan, while performance is not regularly managed or appraised. The Castle received an unqualified audit opinion for the period, but note is taken of its noncompliance with the submission of quarterly reports and supply-chain management policies and procedures.
The Auditor-General expressed a qualified opinion in regard to the department due to challenges with the management of its moveable and immoveable assets. This is, however, an improvement from the seven audit qualifications in the financial year 2007-08. Currently it is one audit qualification.
The 2010-11 annual report highlights the impact a limited budget has on the ability of the department to maintain and sustain its core capabilities necessary to fulfil its mandate. The report focused on eight programmes, among others Administration, Landward Defence, Air Defence, Maritime Defence, Defence Intelligence and General Support. The recurring challenge in all the programmes is the inadequate budget, which impacts not only on morale, facilities and maintenance, but also on operational readiness, jeopardising the fulfilment of the department's constitutional mandate.
Consideration should be given to the following: the deployment of the SA Navy in an antipiracy role, an added responsibility; the dire need to upgrade the prime mission equipment of the landward forces; the urgency with which the facilities and their maintenance should be addressed; the establishment of the Department of Military Veterans and the forthcoming implementation of the benefits as encompassed in the Military Veterans Bill; and the further roll-out of Operation Corona, in which the SANDF returns to guarding our border. It is clear that the department's request for additional funding is justified and can thus be supported by the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.
Besides recommending an increased budget, the committee recommends that the current Defence Review process should take this reality into account and ensure that the outcome is on par with the department's current expanded role domestically and in Africa, as well as its constitutional mandate. Thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.