The House met at 9:05.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS - see col 000.
SADF RAID IN BOTSWANA (Member's Statement)
Ms M P MENTOR (ANC): Madam Speaker, on 14 June 1985 the apartheid security forces illegally invaded Botswana. Their mission was to hunt down and murder patriotic South African members of the ANC and combatants of Umkhonto weSizwe. Ten patriots fell during that attack.
As part of the 18th commemoration of the SADF raid in Botswana a wreath laying ceremony will take place on 14 June 2003 in Gaborone. These activities are organised in honour of those heroes and heroines who paid the ultimate price for the liberation of our country. As we remember this sad day in our history we will also recall other countless murders and assassinations carried out by the colonial apartheid state against the majority of South Africa's citizens. We will recognise that the blood of these combatants nourished the tree of freedom. We will use this solemn occasion to rededicate ourselves to the cause of building a truly democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous country. And as we do so, we will continue to say never again. Thank you. [Applause.]
40 YEARS OF DESTRUCTIVE NP RULE (Member's Statement)
Mr W J SEREMANE (DA): Madam Speaker, a reflection on healthy political banter and the abuse thereof; The New NP is in danger of abusing their Damascus road experience and endangering reconciliation and forgiveness in South Africa following 40 years of destructive NP rule. We, the former prisoners and victims of the Nationalists, find it strange to be lectured on democracy, justice, ``verligtheid'' [liberalism] and ``verkramptheid'' [conservatism] by the architects and disciples of the abominable apartheid ideology.
We are ready to forgive, reconcile and build a new society different from the one the apartheid regime forced on South Africa. Note the serious and sensitive work to be done to nurture our young democracy to heal the hurts and hate of yesterday. But the New NP must remember that peace, justice and reconciliation do not come cheaply. We must be sincere and responsible in the way we behave. [Interjections.]
Their cheap shots and outright hypocrisy insult the goodwill of South Africans and threaten to destroy what we are building. Ours is a long journey which can only be undertaken by those who believe in the destination. I thank you.
E-SCHOOL INITIATIVE LAUNCHED (Member's Statement)
Prince N E ZULU (IFP): Madam Speaker, an e-school initiative has been launched under the aegis of the New Partnership for Africa's Development at the World Economic Forum, Africa's economic summit in Durban. The initiative is aimed at bridging the digital divide between Africa and the developed world by bringing computer literacy into African schools.
Literacy in information technology cannot be overemphasised in this day and age of globalisation. Seminars can now be held through teleconferencing and patients can receive international health treatment through telemedicine through which medical experts can share information and advise each other on patient diagnosis.
We appreciate this initiative as it will equip all learners with invaluable skills which will empower them in their adult and employment life to compete with the necessary leverage in the local and international job market. I thank you.
THE DEMAND FOR CRIME STATISTICS BY DA (Member's Statement)
Mr M E GEORGE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC notes with disgust the blatant opportunism displayed by the DA, led by the hon Douglas Gibson when they marched to Minister Nqakula's office demanding crime statistics. The demand for these statistics is a ploy by the DA to score cheap political points and is driven by electioneering on the eve of the third democratic elections. They are not committed to the battle of fighting crime. The problem of crime confronts all South Africans, especially the poor whom the DA does not represent.
The ANC Government and the people of South Africa have built partnerships and are achieving success in fighting this battle. The ANC calls on the DA to desist from its practice of seeking to score cheap political points out of the hardships of our people and to join the partnership of fighting crime and poverty in our country. I thank you. [Applause.]
REDUCTION OF INTEREST RATES (Member's Statement)
Dr W A ODENDAAL (Nuwe NP): Agb Mevrou die Speaker, die Nuwe NP is van oordeel dat alle ekonomiese aanwysers, sowel as die fout deur Statistiek SA met die berekening van die verbruikersprysindeks, daarop gedui het dat die Suid-Afrikaanse Reserwebank die repokoers oor die korttermyn met 'n volle twee persentasiepunte moes verlaag. Omdat so 'n relatiewe groot eensklapse sprong egter onnodige onstabiliteit in die finansiële markte kon veroorsaak, is ons tevrede met die verlaging van 150 basispunte waarop die bank besluit het.
Die Nuwe NP is egter van mening dat 'n verdere verlaging van minstens 100 basispunte in die repokoers voor die einde van Augustus 2003 noodsaaklik is, om die onlangse verlangsaming in die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomiese groeikoers teen te werk en die rentelas waaronder veral jonger Suid-Afrikaners wat nog skuld het, gebuk moet gaan, verder te verlig. 'n Verdere geleidelike verlaging van tot 3% in die repokoers voor die einde van 2003 blyk op hierdie stadium moontlik te wees. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.) [Dr W A ODENDAAL (New NP): Hon Madam Speaker, the New NP is of the opinion that all economic indicators, as well as the mistake made by Statistics SA with the calculation of the consumer price index, showed that the South African Reserve Bank had to lower the repo rate by a full 2% in the short term. Because such a sudden, relatively big jump may, however, create unnecessary instability in the financial markets, we are satisfied with the reduction of 150 basis points on which the bank decided.
The New NP is, however, of the opinion that a further reduction of at least 100 basis points in the repo rate before the end of August 2003 is essential, in order to curb the recent deceleration in the South African economic growth rate and further relieve the interest burden on especially younger South Africans who still have debts to pay off. A further gradual financial reduction of up to 3% in the repo rate before the end of 2003 seems to be possible at this stage.]
DEVELOPMENT OF FREE TRADE ZONES (Member's Statement)
Mr L M GREEN (ACDP): Madam Speaker, three years ago Government ambitiously announced four designated free-trade zones which were aimed at encouraging large investment projects in South Africa, would allow duty-free imports and a zero rate on VAT for locally produced goods and would offer a number of investment incentives such as no restriction on foreign equity ownership and repatriation of profit, no social service tax and low corporate tax rates.
The intention with establishing these industrial development zones was to help economic growth and job creation through export-orientated manufacturing investments - which is commendable. To date the East London industrial development zone is the only one developed according to plan. It has received commitments from 15 foreign investors in the car manufacturing, timber, pharmaceutical and textile industries and this is expected to create 40 000 much-needed jobs in the Eastern Cape in the near future. Could Government explain, in particular the Minister of Trade and Industry, why the other free-trade zones are taking so long to develop their potential?
RAMPANT PROBLEM OF ABUSE OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN ABUSE (Member's Statement)
Mrs T P SHILUBANA (ANC): Madam Speaker, in one village in Limpopo in 1998, a man brutally assaulted his wife and cracked her skull. Her name was Anna Kosa. Although this case was reported to the police no prosecution took place, because the victim withdrew the case. In 2002 the same man injured his wife's neck with an axe. She later was admitted to the Letaba Hospital where she remained in a coma until she died on 4 June 2003, leaving behind six children of whom four are still minors. She will be buried tomorrow on 14 June 2003.
This incident tells the story of hundreds of women who are exposed to physical and psychological abuse. It also tells the story of a society that still needs to undergo fundamental transformation so that the psychological pressure which results from a vicious cycle of poverty does not translate into extreme forms of male aggression and women abuse. As South Africans we must boldly confront the rampant problem of women and child abuse. This incident is a gross violation of human rights.
The ANC condemns this barbaric and cowardly act. The ANC calls on the criminal justice system to ensure that the full might of the law of the democratic state descends upon the perpetrator of this horrific crime. We further call on all women of South Africa to report all incidents of women and child abuse. [Applause.]
PRESIDENT MBEKI'S ADDRESS TO ILO CONFERENCE (Member's Statement)
Ms E THABETHE (ANC): Madam Speaker, President Thabo Mbeki addressed the 91st session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland on 11 June 2003. The conference started on 3 June and will end on 19 June 2003. The President was accompanied by the Minister of Labour, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cosatu representatives and Business SA.
The ILO is a structure set up by the United Nations to promote social justice and human rights in the work place. President Mbeki's participation in this conference has a greater significance in view of the recent Growth and Development Summit. It is also an acknowledgement of the strides which the ANC Government has made in the first decade of freedom to uphold and promote social justice, human rights and workers' rights. The ANC appreciates the participation of President Mbeki at this conference and wishes all delegates good luck in their deliberations. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I want to remind the ACDP and the ANC that they will have an opportunity for an additional statement, because there are two slots now available. [Interjections.] DA, you come in the roster.
HIV/AIDSIN THE PUBLIC SERVICE (Member's statement)
Mr M WATERS (DA): Madam Speaker, the Minister for Public Service failed to mention HIV/Aids during her Budget Vote speech. As the single biggest employer of over 1 million people, the Aids disaster is taking its toll on the Public Service. Within the department's own report it is said that without treatment service delivery will suffer. A total of 250 000 public servants are set to die from Aids by 2012.
The report further states that skilled and highly skilled employees are at the highest risk of infection. The current HIV-infection level in the Public Service is 14%, but higher in key areas. The rate among student nurses is 30%; teachers 18%; social workers 19%; and the infection rate within the Defence Force is at least 22%. This is the first year when Aids-related deaths in the Public Service will outnumber non-Aids deaths.
The Government's refusal to treat the cause while spending billions on the symptoms such as TB and pneumonia is nonsensical. The DA's actuarial study into only the direct costs to the state in terms of the sick leave and death benefits for teachers confirms what every sane South African is saying: It is cheaper to provide antiretrovirals. It is time for sanity within the ANC as well. I thank you.
Hon MEMBERS: Hear, Hear!
CHILDREN'S RIGHTS (Member's statement)
Mrs L R MBUYAZI(IFP): Madam Speaker, children are a gift from God. They need our care and love so as to grow and become responsible, loving and caring adults. They are the future of our country, in the hope that what we have can be sustained to the next generation. It is unfortunate though, that such treasure is sometimes neglected and abandoned by those who brought them into this world. Most of these children end up on our streets, some even in jail, at a tender age.
Some parents have the nerve to abandon their children as they are seen to be an obstacle to their development. However, another issue is the fact that the problem becomes a vicious cycle of early pregnancy, which sometimes leads to abandoned children. This is because most of these teen mothers are not equipped emotionally and physically to deal with motherhood and they sometimes find the whole experience of motherhood overwhelming.
There is therefore a need for training in this field for our youngsters so that when they are faced with a situation they know how to deal with it. It is a reality that in this country we have a large number of teen pregnancies and so something needs to be done. I thank you.
BERTRAMS' DEVELOPMENT BRIGADE PROGRAMME (Member's statement)
Mr L M KGWELE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the Foundation for Education and Production is embarking on a Bertrams' Development Brigade Programme. This programme provides education and training to the youth. It empowers them to have the opportunity to gain full-time employment by providing the necessary skills.
This programme aims to achieve this mission by providing training to young people by engaging them in renovating existing and building new homes, and thus providing affordable housing to low-income families. The ANC welcomes the initiative by the Foundation for Education and Production. We believe that programmes of this nature encourage the spirit of community service among young people and expands their horizons by providing opportunities for full-time employment.
The ANC calls on other community development activists to emulate this example and to work tirelessly towards empowering the country's youth for a brighter future and better life for all. I thank you.
COMRADES MARATHON (Member's statement)
Mr S SIMMONS (New NP): Madam Speaker, every year the world's best runners gather in South Africa for the Comrades Marathon. A little over 12 750 competitors will face the starter in Pietermaritzburg for the 78th annual Comrades Marathon this year. This year there is a 17% increase in novice involvement and 20% more female entries in the top-quality field of international and national stars.
However, the Comrades is not only about running. It is also about charity. It raises funds for cancer, conservation, the community chest and Aids. The obvious favourite is the defending champion, Vladimir Kotov. The New NP wonders if Kotov knows about the fierce fight-back team. We here in the New NP hope that Tony Leon, his sidekick Douglas Gibson and the rest of his bratpack also take part in the Comrades this year, seeing that they have perfected the art of running away with everything. [Laughter.]
The New NP would like to wish all participants good luck and believe that the South African runners will do us proud. I thank you. [Applause.]
GAS FUELS FOUND OFF WEST COAST
Mr A BLAAS (ACDP): Speaker, we take note of the extensive gas fuels that have been found off the West Coast. We sincerely hope that these fuels will be developed, or that the necessary capital will be found to develop these fuels to their full potential. This will alleviate the increasing demand on energy resources.
The vision of linking these gas lines with PE to stimulate the existing momentum in the economy and growth in PE is a dream that we hope will be realised, and we hope that these gas fuels will supplement our requirements for additional energy. Thank you.
IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE PROGRAMME (Member's Statement)
Mr S B NTULI (ANC): Madam Speaker, hon members, the organised formation of young people in South Africa and the National Youth Commission are proposing the implementation of the National Youth Service Programme. The aim of this programme is to engage young people in a systematic programme that provides them with vocational skills and educational training, while contributing to reconstruction and development and enhancing their employability.
This programme will also encourage young people to embark on community service in line with the spirit of Vukuzenzele and volunteerism. These programmes will provide skills and opportunities for young people.
The Growth and Development Summit decided, among other things, that the Expanded Public Works Programme must have a national youth service programme component in order to tackle the problem of youth unemployment. The ANC endorsed the National Youth Service Programme at its 51st conference, and the ANC Government has also accepted the proposal for the establishment of the National Youth Service Programme. The ANC calls on all role-players to move speedily to the implementation stage of the National Youth Service Programme. I thank you.
RELEASE OF CRIME STATISTICS (Minister's Response)
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Madam Speaker, the hon George is correct when he describes the hon Gibson's antics as a publicity stunt. In fact, we would have laughed it off as a joke were it it not for the fact that it was serious. [Interjections.] It was a serious matter because the hon Gibson was deliberately misleading the public and the media. [Interjections.] But we'll let the facts speak for themselves.
Firstly, the hon Gibson asked me, in his requesting document, to make available or release the statistics for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. Last year we came before this honourable House and submitted this report. It covers the financial year 2001-02 and embodies the statistics that the hon Gibson says we must release. [Interjections.] Not only that, this document, as all hon members of the ANC know, is also a comparative study of all the statistics since the very first financial year of 1994-95, until 2001-02. [Interjections.] This is a public record. [Interjections.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, the hon Minister has said that the DA - the hon Mr Gibson - was deliberately misleading the House. [Interjections.] That, I contend, is unparliamentary. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! I will check if it was deliberate. I will ask you to call on that.
Mr A C NEL: Madam Speaker, I think the allegation was that those words were uttered in respect of events that took place outside of this House. [Interjections.] The allegation is not that the House is being misled. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Mr Nel, will you take your seat. [Interjections.] Order! I will look at the Hansard and give a ruling. Please proceed, Minister.
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: As I was saying, members of the ANC who have been interacting with this report are aware that it not only speaks to the statistics that the hon Gibson wants, but also makes a comparative study of all the statistics from the very first financial year of this democratic House - 1994-95 to 2001-02. [Interjections.]
Now, the hon Gibson, as an hon member of this House - and, I am saying, as a lawyer - is fully conversant with the Promotion of Access to Information Act. He must have revisited this particular stipulation for the purposes of his publicity stunt. It says: "If the information officer of a public body decides to grant a request for access to a record, but that record is to be published within 90 days ... "
The SPEAKER: Hon Minister, I'm sorry but even allowing for the points of order, your time in which to give a response has expired. [Interjections.] There is a limit ... [Interjections.] [Applause.] Order! There is nothing to call a point of order on because nobody has spoken.
APPROPRIATION BILL Debate on Vote No 22 - Defence
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Madam Speaker, members of the House, ladies and gentlemen, the Defence Secretariat, Chief of SA National Defence Force and command structures of the SA National Defence Force, Amnesty International has said rather than making the world safer from terrorism, the war on terror has actually eaten away at collective security by making the world more dangerous. Actions in the name of the so-called war on terror have undermined international law and shield governments, including the United States of America, from scrutiny as they curtail the application of human rights. This suggests that the global security environment today requires very sober assessment if we are to correct the damage that has been done to the global system of collective security.
The new United States security doctrine has expressed a very clear goal of maintaining their current military superiority as a tool to leverage political, strategic and economic interests. As the editor-in-chief of Military Technology, Ezio Bonsignore, has observed, the invasion of Iraq has shown that while Washington would prefer to obtain international approval for any moves it may wish to implement in the pursuit of its own interests, at the same time it is quite ready and willing to act outside of and indeed against all established international institutions if sanction is withheld. This poses a direct threat to the world's order and stability.
The invasion of Iraq inflicted great damage on the United Nations system as a means of cushioning the world against interstate armed conflicts. The end of the Cold War exploded the old way of doing things, and we have seen a resurgence of violence and insecurity in many parts of the world. This is characterised by civil war, ethnic and religious disagreements, and a decline in politically induced international aid that has led to an increase in social insecurity which has inspired violence over scarce resources as well.
Whilst we agree that the integrity of the United Nations has been affected, we are nevertheless of the view that it is not redundant. Recent events emphasise the need to speed up reform of the United Nations and the Security Council in particular. There is growing consensus that there is a need for increased representation for Africa and the developing world in general. The world cannot tolerate a situation in which the few most powerful nations hold the majority of nations of the world to ransom.
Ongoing discussions on the above must inform what needs to be done to re-establish collective security. What is no longer in doubt is that the world has to remould and re-enforce collective security arrangements.
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War promised a long millennium of peace and, yet, 13 years later that promise has evaporated. Rather than gravitating towards greater stability, the world situation, in a great measure, has become increasingly more uncertain and threatening. This is true for Africa too.
Africa inherited several conflicts from the Cold War period: the civil war in Angola; the conflict in the DRC; the bloody strife in Sierra Leone, Liberia and in other parts of West Africa; the collapse of states in the Horn of Africa encompassing Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia; as well as the strife in the Sudan. The challenge here was to contain and resolve these conflicts.
Instead, even before September 11, Africa experienced ghastly terrorist actions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The war on terror, inevitably, would spill into our continent. As consequence Africa has now become one of the theatres of international terrorist activity - witness the recent attack in Morocco. This consequence has imposed fresh obligations on African countries singly, regionally and continentally, to equip themselves to respond to all of these threats in a world which is becoming less secure as a result of unilateral actions by the great powers. Raised tensions have deepened levels of insecurity, and global unease is also felt in Africa.
The Afghanistan war and the invasion of Iraq have increased the sense of unease on our continent, thus tempting Africa to increase defence spending and to siphon off attention and resources from other areas of security like piracy, environmental degradation, disaster relief, search and rescue, etc. Africa has been robbed of the chance not just of attending to these wider security concerns, but of even putting building blocks in place.
The situation today does not allow us to use the concept of a peace dividend either in defence planning or in the defence budget. The countries in our region and on our continent face the same challenges. We therefore need to pool our resources. We need to deal with these problems collectively, and regional collectives like SADC become more important. It is in this context that we are looking at a collective approach to defence on the continent of Africa under the auspices of the African Union, through the development of a common doctrine and the establishment of an African standby force.
We are agreed in the African Union that a common defence policy is not a single policy for all of Africa, but a policy on how to respond collectively to threats. The core value of this common policy is summarised by the indivisibility of continental security. The security of each African country is inseparably linked to that of others and Africa as a whole.
The other core value that has been re-emphasised is that conflict resolution should principally be effected by peaceful means. Intrastate conflicts often impact and spill over into neighbouring states. Nonaggression therefore remains a central tenet of the common policy.
A common security and defence policy means that all existing regional, continental and international instruments should be identified and coherently integrated into this policy. This could include instruments on terrorism, landmines, small arms, child combatants, mercenaries, health refugees, etc.
Whilst we concentrate mainly on challenges that relate to landward defence, it is clear that the new security environment encompasses a significant maritime element that we must study and incorporate where possible. Besides disturbing evidence of increased sophistication and activity of pirates at sea, we must note recent developments that place far greater emphasis on international obligations for the security of ports and installations at sea such as oil and gas platforms. Furthermore, countries' obligations to protect their economic exclusive-zone assets, including the ocean floor and marine-based infrastructure, pose particular challenges. As a recent study noted, it is not so much the protection and security of maritime trade itself that is a major concern, but the security of the whole system that enables the trade to take place.
Each country has to look at what its doctrine and security evaluation are, what assets it has, and what it can contribute to the common good. Parliament and the electorate must remember that each of the state parties participating in collective security does so in keeping with what resources it possesses. As the biggest economy of the region, our country will always have to carry bigger responsibilities. The strategic issue then becomes how we organise ourselves regionally through SADC; and continentally through the African Union.
The whole continent is working at meeting these challenges. On the defence side, our approach is to create regional blocks which when pulled together form a continental body. As a result, we as part of SADC are in the process now of the last stages of the finalisation of the SADC Mutual Defence Pact. My counterparts in the region and I have actively participated in the process of assessing issues of detail. We are now satisfied with the results of a complex process, and I am optimistic that the defence pact will be signed at the next heads of state summit in August.
Each country has to look at whether its logistical lines are adequate, whether its communications equipment is compatible with that of its neighbours so that we can talk to each other. We have to look at how we transport our troops; we have to look at a military doctrine that differentiates between peacekeeping and peace enforcement; we have to look at how our military institutions assist and support civil authorities. This, in turn, entails an awareness on the part of every member of a military force of understanding civil-military relations. The predictable difficulties faced by the United States and the UK military forces in Iraq today merely serve to underline these points.
The African standby force is currently at an advanced stage of discussion, but I can inform the House that we have reached full agreement and consensus on a range of matters. These include issues of doctrine and posture, shifts in the nature of peacekeeping operations, interoperability of forces, common standards of training, equipment and logistics, standard procurement regimes for commonly identified appropriate equipment needs, the establishment of command structures, and so on. More precise details are included in the printed version of my speech, which has been circulated amongst the members and which is available to members of the media as well.
Work is already in progress around all these issues, and we expect a detailed report when the African chiefs of staff meet again in 2004. These are but some of the continent's generic issues that we are forced to examine on a daily basis. These are the challenges facing our military planners. The SA National Defence Force has to align itself more coherently with these new developments.
As I turn now to examine a number of concerns, developments and initiatives that we face within the Department of Defence here at home, I suggest that we keep in mind the larger issues I have just outlined. By so doing, we are able to develop a tighter appreciation of what our priorities should be, and how our actions promote longer-term success than the quick-fix kneejerk response that we are sometimes urged to pursue by well-meaning, though sadly misinformed, observers and commentators.
Whilst our constitutional mandate remains the same, our increased regional commitments have brought about additional spending which brings pressure to bear on our budget allocation. These were not foreseen and cannot be accommodated all the time. The fact of the matter is that it costs much more to send a soldier on a peacekeeping operation, in which he or she receives an additional allowance, purchases rations at a higher cost, etc, than it does to maintain that soldier in a base in South Africa.
Against this backdrop of the co-ordinated efforts of the SA Police Service and of Defence, we welcome the decision of Government to progressively reduce our involvement at home over the next five years, and to make those resources available for our peacekeeping work in the region and for support of the diplomatic work in Africa. This change of focus has necessitated a thorough re-examination of our force structure and design.
We continue along the difficult path of aligning our mandate and tasks with our budget, especially, but not exclusively, with regard to our increased yet necessary external deployments. We are deploying twice as many members of the SA National Defence Force as was anticipated in the Defence Review, whilst our budget, as anticipated in the same Defence Review, has not been increased. Defence is still only allocated 1,62% of the GDP and amounts to 6,74% of Government expenditure. Over and above the deployment of the SA National Defence Force in the DRC and Burundi, which was outlined in detail yesterday by the Chief of the SA National Defence Force, our daily work in the region continues. In line with Cabinet priorities and guided by our Department of Foreign Affairs, we are servicing 103 international agreements with 50 different countries. As a result, our foreign relations division is increasing South Africa's presence in 31 countries. Not all of these countries will have a defence attaché residing in its country, but there will be accreditation.
In light of the challenges outlined above, the SA National Defence Force must be oriented so that it is attuned to meet its obligations. Training, equipment and personnel must be aligned for peacekeeping operations.
Efforts to rightsize without an employer-initiated package have had to depend on natural attrition. But the problems of an aging defence force, with not enough new, young blood coming in, is beginning to impact on our operational readiness. These difficulties will be met partly by the adoption of the Human Resource Strategy of 2010.
We need to effect further transformation of our military justice system, both in terms of its efficiency and in its capacity to deliver fairness and justice. Together with the international community of the Red Cross, the teaching of international humanitarian law is now taught at every level in the SA National Defence Force.
Work on the reserve force is beginning to bear fruit, and the parliamentary defence committees have played an important part in the role of oversight in this regard. I would like to thank the chairperson, the hon Ms Thandi Modise, for her leadership in this regard. [Applause.]
We are now at a stage in our transformation in which we are on an even keel and out of the rough seas. Our ship, the SA National Defence Force, has kept afloat, and we can see our way forward. This momentous achievement, whose success is directly attributable to the commitment of the men and women in the SA National Defence Force and Defence Secretariat, is now enabling us to plan for the future in an organised and systematic way. Succession planning is a key area and a top priority which must now be incorporated into our planning.
The transformation of the Department of Defence is ongoing. Our policy and planning division is working through the regulatory framework emanating from the Defence Act. One example of the practical consequences of this work will suffice. The differences between peacekeeping and peace enforcement result in differences in training, posture and equipment. The degree of flexibility inside the department to be able to adjust training to meet our continental challenges has been tested owing to certain capacity problems in the Defence Secretariat.
On 25 April 2003 the old SA National Defence Force emblem was phased out in a retreat ceremony. The old SA National Defence Force flag was lowered and handed back to the Chief of the SA National Defence Force, Gen Siphiwe Nyanda. On 29 April 2003 Gen Nyanda presented the new SA National Defence Force flags and emblems to the senior echelons of the SA National Defence Force. [Applause.]
This constituted a very visible identity change for the SA National Defence Force. It symbolised an important step forward in our transformation. Our nation can now be truly proud of its national Defence Force whose professionalism and discipline are recognised the world over. The SA National Defence Force will be participating fully in whatever our country calls upon it to do in our quest for peace and stability. I thank you. [Applause.]
Adv H C SCHMIDT: Madam Speaker, it is clear that the 6% increase in the defence budget is being usurped by the special defence account responsible for the cost of the arms deal. In addition to a 9% increase in the salaries of personnel, in accordance with the Public Service Bargaining Council resolution, the repayment of the arms deal has increased by approximately R1 billion to inflate the special defence account to R8,8 billion or approximately 43,8% of the defence budget. It is therefore clear that the budget of the Department of Defence has, with the exclusion of the special defence account, decreased in real terms. To add to the department's woes, commitments by Cabinet in terms of external peace enforcement deployment in the DRC, Burundi, Ethiopia and Eritrea has increased, despite no increase in funds.
Ek kan dit nie anders stel as om te sê dat die Departement in die spreekwoordelike knyptang vasgevang is. Dit is duidelik dat die amptenary en veral die finansiële beamptes hul bes probeer onder die omstandighede. Dit is ook duidelik dat, gegewe die al groter wordende probleme binne die departement gemeet teenoor die Kabinet se politieke besluit om die Weermag te betrek by Afrika-geskille, die Kabinet en die Minister van Verdediging geen benul het van die dilemma waarin die departement hom bevind nie, óf vanweë 'n gebrek aan belangstelling, óf vanweë 'n blote tekort aan kennis. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) I cannot put it any other way than to say that the department is caught in the proverbial vice. It is clear that the officialdom and especially financial officials try their best under the circumstances. It is also clear, given the ever increasing problems within the department measured against the Cabinet's political decision to involve the defence force in Africa's conflicts, that the Cabinet and the Minister of Defence do not have a clue as to the dilemma in which the department finds itself, either because of a lack of interest or because of a bare lack of knowledge.]
There is a disparity between the funding of the department, excluding the special defence account, and the required commitments requested from the SANDF. This cannot be allowed to continue. Financial problems are being foreseen with regards to the funding of the Hawk fighter aircraft, more in particular the Grippen fighters on which Cabinet has to take a decision within the near future. The current Mirage F1 fleet of which apparently 21 are currently unused, can in future be upgraded at a cost of less than one third of the total Grippen deal - leaving billions of rands available for more urgent priorities within the department. This would provide a solution to the SA Air Force for the next ten to twenty years, as well as creating "dip-and-nip" opportunities.
The severity of the SANDF position is reflected by the fact that the Ysterplaat and Bloemspruit runways, as well as runway lighting is in dire need of repair and replacement. Media reports yesterday disclosed threats by the Tshwane Local Council to close 1 Military Hospital outside Pretoria due to fire safety. Unsuitable medical conditions and disgusting hygiene standards indicate the crisis the SANDF is currently facing.
The required funding of R600 million for the completion of the Rooivalk project is still outstanding, with the critical delay ensuring that the Rooivalk is not able to be marketed or sold. Surely this project must be regarded as important because of the billions of rand already spent on it.
The total confusion following the announcement of the President to phase out the commandos within a period of six years has not only left the Departments of Defence and Safety and Security in bewilderment, but has led to insecurity in the rural areas at the cost of the alienation of all those affected communities.
The Democratic Alliance unequivocally opposes the phasing out of the commandos. These commandos have delivered excellent service to the communities and have as recently as yesterday, during a briefing to the media in respect of South Africa's foreign deployment, been praised for having done an excellent job. Yesterday! In addition, the hon Minister is on record as stating in Parliament that the commandos are doing a good job. What has happened? The decision to phase out the commandos is purely an ANC political decision and has nothing to do with looking after the best interests of those communities. Military doctrine provides commandos with the role of rear area defence during times of war. Most alarming is that haphazard planning is being conducted by individuals who have very little knowledge as to the sphere within which commandos operate and that which is required. Some units have already been closed.
With the intended formation of the African standby force, it is important to ensure that a reserve officers' association for the African continent is established. In this regard the African Armed Force Journal has in the past few years actively promoted this concept and should receive our support.
Groter belangstelling in die reserwemagte is tans noodsaaklik, gegewe die gebrekkige standaard van paraatheid van ons troepe. Volgens die nuutste aanduidinge, of is dit die oudste aanduidinge, word die HIV-infeksiesyfer steeds gebaseer op 'n betreklike klein opname uitgevoer gedurende 2000. Hierdie aspek dui op nalatigheid aan die kant van die departement, of is dit die Regering, om presies vas te stel wat die werklike toestand van die HIV/Vigs virus-epidemie binne die SANW is. Slegs 53% van ons troepe is tans GlKl geklassifiseer vanweë hoë ouderdom, siekte, ens. Dit is in die lig hiervan dat die beoogde onttrekking van die elf firmas uit die rol van ondersteuning vir die polisie gesien moet word, naamlik 'n gebrek aan genoegsame paraat troepe om buitelands ontplooi te word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.) [It is essential that a greater interest is shown in the reserve forces now, given the poor standard of preparedness of our troops. According to the most recent, or is it the oldest, indications, the HIV-infection rate is still based on a relatively small survey executed in 2000. This aspect shows negligence on the part of the department, or is it Government, in determining exactly what the actual situation is regarding the HIV/Aids virus epidemic within the SANDF. Only 53% of our troops are currently classified G1K1 because of age, illness, etc. It is in the light of this that the intended withdrawal of the eleven companies from their support role for the police must be seen, namely a lack of enough prepared troops to be deployed outside the country.]
We have a Minister who, due to negligence, has failed to declare his financial interests to Parliament. It is inexcusable that a Minister who presides over a department whose Chief of Acquisitions, Mr Chippy Shaik was fired following the arms deal, who emanates from a party whose chief whip - the previous Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence - was found guilty of fraud for falsely declaring that he had received no benefit in respect of the arms deal, not to mention Ms Winnie Mandela, who was also charged with failing to disclose her interests, would even attempt to indicate that he had merely committed a mistake by not declaring his financial interests to Parliament. This is untenable position to believe.
As stated before, a review of the Defence Review is critically needed. Not only has the strategic environment dramatically changed since 1998, but also the requirements and tasks which the SANDF should be ready to undertake. An exit mechanism for all those approximately 15 000 troops who have to make way for young, fit and healthy troops to be deployed wherever required, is urgently needed. No progress of any note has been made in this regard. HR2010, the Human Resource Strategy for the department should be followed to its fullest extent in order to create a viable and sustainable Defence Force.
In conclusion, I venture to say that the solution to all these issues is heavily reliant upon a willing and keen Minister of Defence actively committed to ensuring that the problems and position of the Department of Defence be brought to the attention of Cabinet and Government. It is disappointing to say that this commitment has not been forthcoming from our current Ministry of Defence. As stated last year, there has been a lack of political and management commitment to resolve these major issues by both the hon Minister of Defence and Cabinet, and I maintain that view. I therefore regret to say that the Democratic Alliance is not in a position to support this Budget. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms T R MODISE: Madam Speaker, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, it is three days before the 27th anniversary of June 16. Allow me therefore to dedicate my simple speech to the young people who leaped overnight out of youth and became defenders of the people. Armed with nothing but stones and courage, they resolved to fight the might of the apartheid regime.
Allow me to dedicate myself to the young women of the June 16 Detachment. They are unknown, unsung, unplaced but forever respected and loved, challenging, defiant and ever willing to enter into new and unchartered terrains. [Applause.] We stand tall, and we are proud because we contributed to a dream which has become a reality, that is, a South Africa that belongs to all, a nonsexist, nonracist and united South Africa.
I do, to some extent, agree with hon Schmidt. The defence budget, if you take away the special defence packages, has in real terms decreased. But central to the threat of the 2003-04 budget of the Department of Defence is the contribution that this department must make towards a stable, peaceful and developing Africa.
Upon this contribution lies the dream of Nepad and the reawakening of Africa as a continent. It is important that we, the elected representatives of the people in this House, remember and honour the memories and the sacrifices of the members of the SANDF who fell in the line of duty in the DRC and Burundi in the peacekeeping operations and also in the line of duty internally, here in South Africa. Our respects go to the families and loved ones who understand and allow these brave men and women to go abroad to bring stability and peace so that development and growth can take place on the continent.
South Africa has been asked by SADC, the AU and the UN to assist in peace and security operations in Lesotho, the Comores, Burundi, the DRC, Eritrea and Ethopia. This department has risen bravely and successfully to each challenge. We have risen courageously to assist in the disasters in the region, for example, the Mozambican floods and now the Algerian earthquake.
As the current Chairperson of the AU and as a strategically placed regional power we will be called upon to contribute more personnel to stop the bloodshed in Bunia, in the eastern region of the DRC. We are also expected to increase the personnel in Burundi to assist with the implementation of the peace accord. The big question is, can we sustain the current deployments? Can we afford to increase the contingents? We have learnt a number of lessons in the recent war against Iraq. One of them is the need for accurate and up-to-date intelligence and the utilisation thereof - the status, the size and the age of technology and equipment, the morale and the state of readiness of the deployable forces and the role and the support the media gives to the troops.
We have looked at this, and we have to honestly ask ourselves whether we are in shape. We are learning from the recent events, the attempted coup in the Central African Republic, the attempted coup in Mauritania, the entry of Liberia's two guerrilla forces into the capital and the continuing anarchy in Somalia. In all these instances the need to deploy a rapid-reaction peacekeeping force becomes vital. The need to have popular support cannot be overemphasised. The question is, can South Africa afford to deploy effectively, efficiently and rapidly to the region and to the rest of the continent without leaving the Republic vulnerable?
When we look back at the September 11 events, can we continue to hold the belief that the traditional threat analysis and identification period of five to 15 years is enough to rely on or should we not do what the Constitution enjoins us to do in section 100? The Department of Defence has been allocated R20,05 billion for the year 2003-04. This is expected to increase to 20,4% next year and 20,5% in the following year.
It is interesting to note that the budget stood at 2,5% of the GDP in 1994 and began dropping in 1995 to just under 1,5% of the GDP in 1998. My colleagues will talk about the impact of this decrease. We agree with the need for balance in public spending. We agree that the nation has other priorities. We agree that we enjoy relative peace and political stability now. We must however remind this House of an oversight performed by this particular House.
When we expected the defence force to integrate eight armed forces, we did not put aside a dedicated fund. When we did that integration, we expected an increase in numbers in military cultures, languages, religions and that the medical facilities of the Defence Force would be overloaded because we were putting in more members.
In fact, in 1994 the Defence Force rose to 101 000 members and yet we did not put aside a dedicated fund to make sure that integration and transformation happened. We expected that the South African National Defence Force would cope and to some extent they coped. But we are all paying very heavily because the increase in personnel expenditure meant a decrease in operational and capital expenditures.
We have had several incidents, perhaps some directly linked to the financial frustrations; some purely linked to the confidence and trust building phase of the Defence Force and some purely arising from a refusal to change within the department. Integration could have gone, as I've said, quite a lot smoother had we put in the systems. But now we speculate because we could not foretell. And our systems say that we cannot budget for the unknown. Yet some of the things could have been avoided.
We knew that the defence increase to 101 000 meant that those people would need to be demobilised at some point. We knew that pensions for those people getting demobilised would have to be paid. We knew that the medical facilities would be overloaded. We knew that during the negotiations we recognised the services of the nonstatutory force members.
We also knew that with the increase of cultures, races, sexes and languages it meant more administration and extension on the facilities and yet we expected success. We have watched with pride when the SANDF flitted in and out of disaster management. Yet this House has jointly condemned the department when qualified Auditor-General reports came in. We screamed at the services when the reports came in that training was diminishing, for example in the airforce because there wasn't enough funds for operational flight preparatory work. The funds had been used for humanitarian aid in Mozambique.
It is good to note that the airforce has now turned the corner and has plans to lord it over our skies in all our colours. Although very little in real terms, the 4,8% increase should see the airforce through though, enable it to retain skills and recruit young people, retain the skills it already has and increase the reserve part of it very substantially.
We urge that the proceeds from the sales must go to the airforce for its own programmes and activities. There are two issues that should be raised. The Rooivalk - it is strange that we sing praises of this combat aircraft without really showing commitment to it. If it so good, why are we not using it? Why are we not showing confidence in South Africa's own product? Why are we not buying it and making sure that the money circulates internally?
The second matter, which I take issue with through the Minister to General Beukes, is why the air force wants to be the custodians of maritime helicopters? Surely the helicopters are just an extension of the Corvettes and should be allowed to stay in the navy; and that would contribute largely to the multiskilling of the National Defence Force.
My colleagues will look at a number of other issues. They will talk about the service called the Civil Education Programme. They will talk about 2010. A few months ago I visited 2 Military Hospital, and I was horrified by the state of the wards. They were scrupulously clean, I must grant that, but they were almost falling apart. A lick of paint, new beds, towels and sheets would be very, very welcome.
In short, Mr Minister, give the facilities a face-lift. If we cannot provide decently for the men and women who are ready to lay down their lives for their country, how can we hope to convince the young ones to come into their own? The South National Defence Force has been accused of not being too upfront about the HIV/Aids statistics. All external deployments are compelled to undergo comprehensive testing so that they leave our shores very healthy. Rumour says that they do not often come back so healthy. What happens? Are we sending these people out without education, literature and condoms? Are we making sure that there are enough female condoms during deployments? Are our troops simply without discipline when it comes to these matters when they are deployed?
With regard to medical inflation standing at 23% - with the expected increase in international operations, with HIV/Aids and increasing TB, malaria and cholera in this country and with the expected retirement of a number of old folk in the Defence Force and the entry of young folk into the Defence Force - the 8,2% increase for the medical support is hopelessly inadequate.
Maritime defence gets a 7,5% decrease, which relates largely to the covert programme. With the substandard cabling on the Amathola, this has become a mixed blessing. An increase in costs and therefore a levy for the major contractor and a chance for the navy to make sure that the racial mix of the crews is a little bit better. It is unfortunate that they will only come in at the lower ranks. Mr Minister, how long does it take to produce a Black, an Indian and a Coloured ship's captain, and what are you doing about it?
Earlier on I referred to the gathering and the use of intelligence as vital in modern warfare a 7,4% increase goes to that and this can be rationalised. They must get equipment and we are more and more involved in getting operations from abroad. The Department of Defence employs 70 000 people.
Recent briefings indicate that skills are lost because of our often not too competitive conditions of service. The best chef at one of Kenya's elite hotels is a former member of the South African Navy. We know that commercial airlines are poaching from the airforce. We know that private diving schools are poaching from the navy. This means that even though we want to retain the colours and balance the demographics, if we do not do something about retaining all levels of skills in the Defence Force, we will be working backwards.
Our colleagues in Scopa annually report to us that the Defence Force fails to decrease its surplus stocks. The question is what inventories are we carrying? Can we unload this and get rid of obsolete stock? Can we address the dangerous question of old ammunition before accidents happen? Have we budgeted for this, if not, why not? If so, when can we see this demolition depot being constructed? Such a construction would be an advantage to this country and the region because as the Minister said about integrating systems and equipment and standardising them, surely what is not standard and not integrated will have to be demolished. The South African National Defence Force can then earn some revenue in this regard.
There is often not too gentle pressure put on South Africa to play a more interactive role in peacekeeping on the continent. This requires the Defence Force to spend money on training, deployment and equipment. Although the United Nations and other donor countries often pledge and pay the money, this often happens very late. We therefore need to find a system. I think you need to have a little talk with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Safety and Security and the Presidency because our operational budget deviated towards the commitment which South Africa makes. We are proud of it but let us not make those commitments without making sure that we can operate in the meantime.
The Minister referred to the Defence Review. We need to talk about that. I think we also need to talk to the Minister responsible for public works. All facilities that belong to the South African National Defence Force must be given a face-lift. Maintenance must be regular. We cannot afford the state of obsolescence that we are noticing.
I think that this budget of 2003-04 goes a long way towards ensuring that we realise peace and stability in Africa. The ANC will be supporting this vote.
In conclusion, I would like to thank and praise the members of the reserve force for the efforts they are putting in. It is always uplifting to see you in action, especially now in Algeria but we need to correct the Irish coffee syndrome in the reserve force. Maybe MK and Apla ex-combatants need to get their ranks and get their butts into the reserve force so that we can deal with that Irish coffee syndrome. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N S MIDDLETON: Chairperson, hon members, whenever one discusses the Defence Force with people out there, the question that is always asked is why are you spending so much money on defence? Who are we at war with? Depending on where you come from, there are various replies to this question. My own reply to that is always to refer to that famous book, the Bible, where it says somewhere that one must be prepared, because nobody knows the time and the hour in which the bells will toll for you.
Therefore, I believe the army should be prepared at all times because nobody knows the hour in which the bells will toll for South Africa. A country can only be proud if it has a very proud, intelligent, disciplined and well-trained army. The country can also then be proud. The IFP believes that in order to defend its sovereign territory, South Africa is constitutionally obliged to maintain a well-trained, professional, technologically sophisticated corps in times of peace and war. We expect that the defence policy and Government expectations must be clearly communicated to the department, the armed forces and other concerned agencies so that they are thus able to formulate the strategies necessary to effect the tasks that are likely to fall to them, hence determining the budgetary requirements accordingly.
Only when a proper defence policy is in place and the appropriate budget allocations have been made, can the Defence Force in turn inform foreign policy makers of the country's military capabilities and weaknesses. The primary responsibility of the corps' defence capability must to defend the nation against internal and external threats. They are also expected to play a leading role in peacekeeping missions within our borders and the neighbouring countries.
However, the IFP wishes to caution against the extensive deployment of the Defence Force in the external peacekeeping missions. Any external Defence Force role must be premised on a comprehensive, consistent foreign policy as well as a structured, constitutionally regulated intelligence capacity. The motto of our Defence Force should always be: Be prepared at all times in anticipation of any serious threats to South Africa's security. It cannot be expected that when this country is attacked by any forces that our President or Minister of Defence has to go to the enemy and say: ``Please sir, just give me one month to get ready to get my arms in order to defend myself.'' There is no such thing, because the enemy cannot then wait. [Applause.]
Our Defence Force must be maintained within its core limitations and readiness for the transition to being on a war footing. However, the readiness and the defence of South Africa's sovereignty over its territory and airspace should be based on the principle of nonaggression and the desire to avoid confrontations and conflicts at all times. We must not lose sight of the fact that South Africa is a major trading nation and the leading regional power, and this imposes certain obligations on the international community in respect of the preservation of peace and the maintenance of orderly relations within our country.
The IFP is pleased to note that the Department of Defence is seriously concerned with the orientation, restructuring and integration of the armed forces to best fulfil the classic role of a deterrent force. However, such a policy must be developed, formulated and clearly expressed to the armed forces and other concerned agencies. In this regard, I want to say to the Minister that the manner in which the restructuring and the integration of the Cape Corps is being conducted leaves much to be desired. There is chaos and concern out there. Let us not forget that we are talking about the oldest corps in South Africa, dating back to the First World War, and the way they are being treated presently needs your attention.
On the budget, let me say that the allocation of R20,5 billion for 2003-04 leaves much to be desired even though this is an increase of R1,1 billion from the previous budget. The department's budget is dominated by spending on human resources and strategic armaments procurement programmes. The increase of 13% in transfer payments from 2002 to 2004 is for normal contractual payments and exchange rate variations as well as price adjustments.
The South African army's increased involvement in peacekeeping operations in Africa requires it to increase the combat readiness of engineer equipment. It must be noted, however, that quality assurance, naval weapons, acceptance and electronic warfare analysis sections in the maritime defence programme have been allocated additional funding in preparation for this strategic armament, though not enough. An increase of 22,6% in special operations is due to the procurement of highly specialised equipment and ammunition, and the introduction of an incentive scheme for special forces.
Let's not forget what recently happened in Morocco and Iraq. Let us not forget what happened during the Second World War when many countries were caught with their pants down because they were not ready. We have no oil in South Africa. But let us not also forget that we are blessed with various valuable minerals, and many people envy this. Let us not be like Rip van Winkel who slept throughout the revolution. Here I refer to those people who are asking why we need an army. My God, where can you have a country without an army that is well-equipped, well-trained and well-disciplined in order to protect the people of South Africa. [Applause.] With that the IFP supports this budget, but must express great concern about the underbudgeting for this department. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D M DLALI: Chairperson, the SA National Defence Force's primary objective is to defend and protect South Africa, its sovereignty, territory and integrity. The acquisition allows the Defence Force to be deployed in compliance with the Republic of South Africa's Constitution and in conjunction with bodies in other states to preserve lives, health and property, and to provide new essential services.
Having said the above, it is also very clear that the region, the continent and the world has high expectations of South Africa when it comes to our region and our continent to lead in all conflict situations as a peacekeeping force, be it international, political or otherwise. Therefore we need to rise above their expectations and we have to prepare ourselves and the readiness of our Defence Force as the SA National Defence Force or face the challenge.
Challenges facing South Africa today are peace, security, stability or prosperity. As indicated above, South Africa is expected to lead, as our President is the leader of the African Union. Our challenge is that we need to be ready for all aspects of defence capabilities - air defence, military health, maritime and base support capabilities and other armed services.
On the basis of the said readiness, I was very impressed when the committee in its oversight responsibility visited the exercise of the artillery formation at Potchefstroom on Saturday 24 May 2003. The SA Army Artillery Formation, regular force units and reserve force units participated in the exercise.
Well done, guys! You are making us proud of you. This is what we also need to do, namely to compliment the same performance by different or various armed services. When they were part of the African Celebration Day in Johannesburg on 25 May 2003. Again, well done, guys! We are proud of you. [Applause.] Well done, guys! The nation is proud of you, keep it up. You know you can do more.
I would be failing in my duties if I did not congratulate our uniformed personnel in various countries in Africa, in particular Burundi and the DRC; we are on your side while you are there. You must know that we are very proud of you, including those who have come back to South Africa when they have served there. Well done, guys! We know that you are representing South Africans wherever you are.
When I was in the SA Army Artillery Formation we were told that it was the best artillery formation on the continent. Their equipment will remain oiled and up to standard if the money or budget is made available, because these soldiers need to exercise regularly, therefore they need money, both for exercise and for the use of the equipment. Napoleon said, in 1809, I am told: "It is with artillery that war is made."
The SA National Defence Force is faced with enormous responsibility in the region and on the continent with regard to peace, security and stability. If the greater powers or powerful nations can do what they like, or if the sovereignty of a country or state is not important and the said powerful nation can insist on a regime change for weak nations, that is hardly an ethical, fair or just approach to international affairs.
Judge Richard Goldstone said on 30 March 2003:
If the powerful excuse themselves from the international rule of law, then the whole thing breaks down; the concept becomes absolutely meaningless. One is reverting to the situation that existed in the 19th century, when powerful nations could do what they wished for their own selfish motives. Colonialism was possibly the best example of that. If the only superpower regards itself as above the law, then it has the potential of releasing everybody from the law.
I am making this quotation, because I want to stress the importance of supporting our Defence Force and giving them the extra money they deserve to make sure that they are equipped to defend our country or sovereignty at all cost.
I would like to raise a few issues on the programmes. The special defence account is projected to take 44,1% of the department's budget for the 2003-04 financial year. This means that other programmes such as joint support, defence intelligence, and military health support, project an expenditure for the same financial year of 17,3%, which therefore means that other programmes will suffer in the process. I just wanted to mention those few programmes.
These are the measures that will need some attention in the future budgeting processes. Having said the above, I also want to commend the role played and being played by the Arms Corps in each of these activities. Members of the Arms Corps, at the African Defence Summit, held on 14 August 2000, said:
I pledge Arms Corps' commitment to continue to render excellent service to our prime client, the South African National Defence Force. And utilising the defence-related industry to achieve this goal will be our objective for the next 50 years.
This is what we need from the defence industry - to understand their prime objective. It is also critical and important that joint training exercises should be enhanced and encouraged between the region, the continent and other parts of the world with the view to some co-operation in certain aspects and areas of mutual agreement. The co-ordination of the joint forces is paramount in terms of the peacekeeping force and in other areas of mutual agreement, in particular when it comes to international peacekeeping and other support wherever our forces are being deployed.
The reserve force is very important as part of the SANDF, but there is still more work to be done in this component. The composition of the reserve force needs more attention as things stand at present in relation to all armed services. This component of the SANDF is more critical, because, for example, when the USA invaded Iraq, they used more of their forces from the reserve force.
We are just coming from the reserve force indaba, which was well organised. Thanks to the organisers. The various armed services within the reserve force need some more attention, in particular around transformation, recruitment processes and training, of course with the necessary capacity needed in the reserve force. The reserve force services need to talk to one another and to have a co-ordinated approach for all aspects and in all respects.
As June is youth month, I wanted to issue a call to all the youth formations to the effect that the SA National Defence Force needs them. We want your support. You must not just join the Defence Force, the people's army; we must build this nation. We will build this nation if you, the youth, who are leaders of tomorrow, show your strength, capabilities and your love for your country and join the Defence Force in numbers.
There are a number of areas of interest in the Defence Force, not only to carry the big guns. We need you, the youth of our country in, for example, the air force, the navy and other armed services to defend the sovereignty of our country.
The SA National Defence Force is embarking on a programme of visiting high schools, I was told, on a mission of impressing the youth and to encourage them to see the importance of the Defence Force and also to endeavour to recruit the youth. Therefore we need to support all these efforts by the Defence Force to take the SANDF to the people.