SA Defence Department Penniless Yet Paid Cubans R1 Billion for Repairs

SA Defence Department Penniless Yet Paid Cubans R1 Billion for Repairs

- The Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DDMV) has reportedly spent a whopping R1 billion paying Cuban contractors

- The DA's defence spokesperson revealed the news just before the weekend, stating that the defence industry had been in a bad place

- The spokesperson added that this was one of many instances in which services could have been procured in SA but were sourced elsewhere instead

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Reports have revealed that the Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DDMV) spent over a R1 billion paying Cuban service providers to repair and maintain equipment. The money was spent over a period of six to 10 years.

Kobus Marais, DA defence spokesperson, said before the weekend that the country's defence industry is caught in a 'death spiral', adding that there is widespread concern surrounding job losses.

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Marais explained that there is inexplicable curiosity around why the ruling party's government has been outsourcing contracts to Cuban companies.

Defence department penniless yet paid Cubans R1bn for repairs
The defence department is reportedly cash-strapped and has paid around R1 billion to Cuban contractors for maintenance and repairs of equipment. Image: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/AFP
Source: Getty Images

A report by IOL confirmed that the news of the money spent was revealed in a written response to a Democratic Alliance parliamentary question. Marais said that the R1 billion that was spent by the DDMV is one of many cases where the SA government has 'splurged' taxpayers' money on services that could have been rendered within the country.

News24 reported that Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula stated just days ago in her budget vote speech that the DDMV is under-resourced, thus putting it under 'extreme stress'.

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Previously, Briefly News reported that Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu stood firmly by her decision to employ 24 Cuban engineers to assist in the repairing of leaks and other water problems.

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This includes the Vaal River spillage after criticism was directed at her by ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba and AfriForum, which are against the appointment of the engineers.

Sisulu defended her decision and stated that the main reason for the agreement is to gain the Cuban engineers' infrastructure maintenance and operational skills. This will assist throughout the water value change from the source to the tap.

Mashaba also previously voiced his concerns about the Cuban doctors in SA being nominated by President Cyril Ramaphosa on behalf of SA for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mashaba shared his thoughts on Twitter, writing:

"I, Herman Mashaba, a citizen of the Republic of South Africa, nominate our very own South African Frontline Doctors, Nurses & Ancillary Workers for the Nobel Peace Prize, instead of Cubans doctors as proposed by @PresidencyZA."

Some tweeps seemed to be in full agreement with Mashaba while others defended the president, stating that they didn't believe the Cuban medical professionals deserve praise and recognition.

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