“Similarly, when attending the department of international relations and cooperation heads of mission conference in April 2022, I received many complaints from our diplomatic fraternity about the performance of our defence attaché corps,” she said.
Mafanya responded: “This is not a sign of a department that knows what it’s doing and is serious about the capacity of defence to defend the country and its people.”
The IFP’s Narend Singh said the defence force was a shadow of its former self, citing budget austerity measures and the loss of professional career military personnel.
“The morale remains low, which is not assisted by issues relating to career progression, food scarcity and quality for troops as well as the low standard of maintenance upkeep of military bases in general,” he said.
While some MPs called for soldiers and military veterans to be properly remunerated, Modise admitted the compensation of employees portion of the budget was a grave priority area which needs to be addressed.
She revealed that on her appointment as minister, she discovered a bloated top-structure and a lack of rejuvenation in the bottom and middle components. To combat this, the department must reduce cost pressures on the compensation of employees portion of the budget, she said.
“Simply put, we need to retire more senior staff and recruit more young and agile people. I require the department to advise me on who must stay and who must exit the system.
“I require this information for my engagements with the ministers of finance and public service and administration,” she said.
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