The Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services portfolio committee said soldiers and police officers are being poorly fed, a situation that compromises their discipline and poses a grave danger to national security.
Committee chair, Levi Mayihlome, said that whereas rations are a mandatory requirement, each soldier is feeding on nine rations instead of the ideal 15 ration items per day. He added:
The nine ration items per soldier per day translate to $54,98 per soldier per day. A paltry $103,17 million was allocated for this item, it is far below the minimum requirement.
It means that each soldier will survive on 39 cents per day, yet each meal is currently selling at an average price of $30.
This implies that the soldiers are exposed to intolerable hunger which affects training and skills development programmes. It compromises the soldiers’ discipline.
In his 2020 national budget presentation last month, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube allocated $3,11 billion and $2,8 billion to the Defence and Home Affairs ministries respectively.
However, according to the Committee, the funds are not adequate to meet the requirements of the security services.