Parliament, Friday, 19 February 2021 – The joint Standing Committee on Defence unanimously supported the employment of 2 122 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to work in cooperation with the South African Police Service from 1 to 28 February 2021.

The President is required in terms Section 201 (3) of the Constitution and Section 18 (2) of the Defence Act (No 42 of 2002) to inform Parliament of the reasons, place, number of soldiers, cost involved as well as the period of employment, to which Parliament must apply its mind and express its view.

The committee received the letter dated 3 February 2021 about the deployment, as part of the adjusted level 3 regulations to fight the spread of Covid-19. The committee is satisfied with reasons given and the necessity to extend the deployment of 2 122 members of the SANDF in the fight against the spread of the virus, especially in light of the impact of the second wave of the virus. The expected expenditure to be incurred by the deployment is R64 767 486.

Meanwhile, the committee has raised concerns regarding the inability of National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) to table its third quarter report in Parliament and the absence of an explanation for the delay. The committee is cognisant that following the passing of the chairperson of the NCACC, Minister Jackson Mthembu, the President has not as yet designated a chairperson. Despite this, the committee has called for the tabling of the report, particularly because the report had been adopted by the NCACC.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRPERSONS OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE, MR CYRIL XABA AND MR MAMAGASE NCHABELENG

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