Parliament, Friday, 25 November 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans has successfully completed its three-day oversight visits to military bases in Bloemfontein, with a final visit to Tempe military base.

Various army units informed the committee that they operate using aged infrastructure, some of which has reached the end of its life and is uneconomical to repair. The committee noted the military’s concerns around lack of funding, but encouraged it to actively seek areas where it can sustain itself without relying on external stakeholders.

The committee is happy with the fruitful engagements it had with members of the armed forces, who shared their various successes and challenges within their areas of operation.

Nonetheless, the committee was concerned to hear a common complaint about the lack of funding for the maintenance and upgrade of prime mission equipment. However, the committee welcomed the information that the military has begun looking at strategies to mitigate these challenges, which will preserve the integrity of its equipment, albeit these strategies are not sustainable in the long term.

The committee also visited 3 Military Hospital, where it heard that maintenance issues continue to plague the hospital, due to lack of coordination by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

The committee resolved to take up the issues affecting the military and work hand-in-hand with the departments of Defence and of Public Works and Infrastructure.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS, MR CYRIL XABA

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