0     Environmental Implementation Plan
Chapter 1: Mandate and Functions

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1.        This chapter describes the mandate of Department of Defence (DOD) and lists the core functions of the department. The priority functions, in terms of their effect on the environment, are identified and briefly described based on the DOD Level 1 Plan and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for the department. A brief description on the general structure of the department as well as its mandate and structure with respect to environmental management is also provided.




2.        The Constitution, Act 108 of 1996 (clause 200 to 204), the Defence Act 44 of 1957 as amended, the White Paper on Defence and the Defence Review mandate the DOD. These laws and policies both direct and guide the execution of the defence function of the DOD and the South African National Defence Force (SANIDF). All departmental policies and plans are derived from and executed in accordance with such direction.


3.        The primary object of the DOD is to defend and protect the Republic, its territorial integrity and its people in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of international law regulating the use of force.


Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996


4.        According to the Constitution:

a."The defence force is the only lawfUl military force in the Republic",
b."The defence force must be structured and managed as a disciplined military force",
c."The primary object of the defence force is to defend and protect the Republic, its territorial integrity and its people in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of international law regulating the use of force",
d."The President as head of the national executive is Commander-in-Chief of the defence force, and must appoint the Military Command of the force", and
e."Command of the Defence Force must be exercised in accordance with the directions of the Minister of Defence under the authority of the President".


Defence Act 44 of 1957, as amended


5.        The Defence Act regulates and provides for the defence of the Republic, the powers and responsibilities of the Chief of the SANDF and the Secretary for Defence and for matters incidental thereto.


White Paper on Defence, 1996


6.        The White Paper on Defence makes provision for:

a.The overarching challenge of transforming defence policy and the armed forces in the context of the Constitution, national security policy, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), and international law on armed conflict.
b.Civil-military relations, with reference to the constitutional provisions on defence, transparency and freedom of information, defence intelligence, the structure of the DOD, military professionalism, civic education, responsibilities of government towards the SANDF and the rights and duties of military personnel.
c.The external and internal strategic environment and the importance of promoting regional security.
d.The primary and secondary functions of the SANDF.
e.Human resources issues, including integration, maintenance of an all-volunteer force, rationalisation and demobilisation, equal opportunity, affirmative action, nondiscrimination and gender relations and defence labour relations.
f.Budgetary considerations.
g.Arms control and the defence industry.
h.Land and environmental issues.


Defence Review, 1998


7.        The Defence Review addresses the following issues:

a.Options with respect to the size, roles and structure of the SANDF.
b.Addresses the implications of the core force approach for the size, doctrine, posture, weaponry, equipment and other features of the SANDF.
c.Addresses the strategic and technical implications of the constitutional provision that the SANDF shall be primarily defensive in the exercise or performance of its powers and functions.
d.Deals with the implications of the principles of defence in a democracy for the orientation and posture of the SANDF.
e.Presents detailed and well-motivated budgetary forecasts and proposals, specific policies regarding the provisioning of logistic resources and the identification of appropriate technology to optimise the cost-effectiveness of the core force.
f.Deals with the size and structure of the Part-time Component.
g.Includes an examination of prevailing conditions in the SANDF with the view to rationalise current spending, eliminating waste, unnecessary duplication and determining the most cost-effective means of managing human and material resources.
h.Provides details on the rationalisation, redesign and right sizing of the SANDF given the absence of a foreseeable conventional military threat.
i.Outlines a formula and guidelines for ensuring that the former statutory and non-statutory forces are equitably represented in the SANDF, in the context of demobilisation and rationalisation.




8.        The primary function of the department is to defend South Africa against external military aggression, to protect the sovereignty and the territory and the people of South Africa in accordance with the Constitution as well as the principles of international law regulating the use of force, in order to secure an environment of peace and prosperity for all. In order to execute this task, the DOD requires a variety of resources including land to accommodate infrastructure, to test weaponry and to train personnel.


9.        Due to the unique capability of the DOD, the Constitution and the White Paper on Defence in addition, provides for the employment of the department in a range of secondary functions and activities such as:

a.Service in compliance with the international obligations of the Republic with regard to international bodies and other states such as Regional and International Peace Support Operations.
b.Service in the preservation of life, health or property such as search and rescue operations, disaster relief and evacuation of South African citizens from areas of high-threat.
c.Service in the provision or maintenance of essential services which have been temporarily disrupted and where the capacity of the relevant civil authorities is exceeded.
d.Service in upholding law and order in the Republic in co-operation with the South African Police Service (SAPS) under circumstances set out in legislation where the SAPS is unable to maintain law and order on its own such as Border Protection and Control as well as operations in terms of the National Crime Prevention Strategy, including Area Protection.
e.Service in support of any department of state for the purpose of socio-economic upliftment. Although the DOD is not mandated for socio-economic upliftment, the department may be instructed by the Government to contribute to such ends.


10.        The core functions of the DOD all have some effect on the environment as it includes activities such as military training, the execution of military operations and exercises. The functions mentioned and discussed in this section are very broad and therefore the impacts are diverse and differ for each of these functions. The impact of military activities which have been identified as having an effect on the environment are however discussed in Chapter 3.




11.        In the new South Africa, national security is no longer viewed as a predominantly military and police problem. It has been broadened to incorporate political, economic, social and environmental matters. At the heart of this new approach is a paramount concern with the security of people. This new approach to security does not imply an expanded role for the armed forces. The SANDF may be employed in a range of secondary roles as mentioned previously, but its primary and essential function is service in defence of South Africa.


12.        The SANDF, therefore, remains an important security instrument of last resort but is no longer the dominant security institution. The responsibility for ensuring the security of South Africa’s people is now shared by many departments of government and ultimately vests in Parliament. In the light of these democratic changes, the new strategic international, regional and domestic environments and the history of the armed forces in the country, the formulation of a new defence policy and the transformation of the DOD was necessitated.


13.        The transformation of the DOD takes place against the broader backdrop of the transformation process in South Africa generally. This includes aspects such as:

a.Civil-military relations including constitutional and legal transformation and mechanisms for oversight,
b.Normative and cultural transformation, and
c.Organisational restructuring.



14.        The Constitution mandates the Minister of Defence to exercise control over and be accountable for the entire defence function (level 0). Government established civil control over the armed forces through the establishment of the Secretariat to support the Minister of Defence.


15.        The DOD consists of a Defence Secretariat headed by the Secretary for Defence and the SANDF headed by the Chief of the SANDF (level 1). The Secretary exercises his functions and powers as Head of the Department and Accounting Officer with reference to the SANDF by providing C SANDF with comprehensive instructions for the issuing of orders and directives and the giving of commands. C SANDF is responsible for issuing such orders and commands and the giving of command, ensuring that such orders and commands are complied with, seeing to the execution of all budgetary programmes and supplying information and inputs with regard to the SANDF to the Secretary. Together the Secretary for Defence and C SANDF and their respective divisions (level 2) form the integrated head office.


16.        The level 3 intermediate structures of the organisation consist of type formations responsible for the preparation and development of combat-ready units, support formations responsible for providing support to type formations and General Support Bases (GSB’S) and task forces responsible for the employment of combat-ready units. The DOD Logistic Support Formation has additional regional structures called the Regional Facilities Interface Management (RFIM) offices responsible for providing advice on and monitoring facilities and environmental matters in each of the nine regions. These offices are seated in Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban, Pretoria and Pietersburg.


17.        The level 4 structures are the General Support Bases which provide support at unit level for units, force structure elements and satellite offices in a specific geographical location.



Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996


18.        The Constitution mandates responsible environmental management to all citizens of the Republic and states that, "everyone has the right -

a.to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing; and
b.to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that -
i)prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
ii)promote conservation; and
iii)secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development".


White Paper on Defence, 1996


19.        Chapter 8 of the White Paper on Defence relates to Land and Environmental Issues, mandating the environmentally responsible management of the environment under the control of the DOD. It states that the Minister of Defence, as well as the Chief of the SANDF "are responsible for ensuring the exercise of proper ecological management and control of military properties". The responsibility and accountability to ensure that "the planning and execution of military activities will take account of the environmental implications and not jeopardise the long-term potential of the land and other natural resources" are directly transferred to Commanding Officers of military installations.


Defence Review, 1998


20.        Chapter 12 of the Defence Review, 1998 on Land and Environment, addresses the environmentally responsible management of DOD controlled land in terms of clean-up of training areas, graves and burial sites, utilisation of external expertise, multiple use of facilities and disposal and closure of defence facilities.


Broad Strategy and Functional Strategies for Environmental Services in the SANDF, 1992


21.        This broad strategy and functional strategies for Environmental Services Functional strategies on Environmental Planning, Environmental Research, Environmental Education & Training, Base Environmental Management, Ecological Management and Cultural Resource Management serves as the basis for the development and implementation of Environmental Services in the DOD. It was developed in 1992 to direct the environmental function in the DOD through the development of policies and capacities in terms of functional areas. Actions recommended have led to the development monitoring and compliance mechanisms.




22.        Defence policy on the environment is consistent with national policy and includes the following guidelines:

a.the protection of species and habitats and the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources;
b.the protection of the environment against disturbance, deterioration, poisoning or destruction as a result of human activity and structures;
c.the maintenance and improvement of environments which contribute to the quality of life of South African citizens; and
d.the provision of a healthy working environment for its personnel.




23.        The DOD accepts the responsibility of stewardship for the environment under its control and within which it operates.


24.        Land under military control is considered a National Asset. It is entrusted to the department by the nation and should therefore be used and managed wisely for as long as it is required for military purposes.


25.        The handling of environmental matters should take place within the parameters of international, national and regional agreements, legislation and regulations, and should support national environmental objectives as well as the military mission.


26.        The emphasis on environmental management should be on integrating environmental considerations into all military planning and activities, which could have an impact on the environment.


27.        Every commanding officer is responsible to ensure that the activities, which take place under his/her control are carried out in an environmentally responsible manner.


28.        Defence will have to accept responsibility for the environmental impacts of its activities over their entire life cycle.


29.        Military utilisation of facilities should take place in such a way that the long-term suitability of these facilities for sustained military use as well as other use is not jeopardised.


30.        Maximum use is to be made of external expertise.


31.        All military properties are in principle considered as multiple-use conservation areas.


32.        Although military properties are primarily used for military purposes, its utilisation for other compatible land-uses should be promoted.




33.        The draft Corporate Environmental Policy Statement for Defence states that:


The Department of Defence shall, in compliance with the

environmental obligations placed upon it by the Constitution,

national and international regulatory provisions

and within the constraints imposed from time to time

by nature of its business,


protect the environment through pro-active measures of

Military Integrated Environmental Management;

accept responsibility for use of the environment entrusted to it;


minimise the impacts of its operations on the environment

by means of a programme of continual improvement;


promote open communication on environmental issues to

all interested and affected parties;


train and motivate its members to regard environmental

considerations as an integral and vital element of their day-to-day activities




34.        The mission of Environmental Services is to ensure the environmentally sustainable management of military activities and facilities.




35.        The execution of the environmental function takes place at levels 2 to 4 of the department’s organisational structure. At Joint Support Division (Directorate Facilities) on level 2, the sub-directorate Environmental Services consists of four dedicated environmental posts responsible for the overall management of the environmental function as well as developing, formulating and promulgating environmental policies, procedures and guidelines.



36.        At the DOD Logistic Support Formation on level 3, a section Specialist Environmental Services consists of 9 specialist posts namely:

a.General Specialist Environmental Services,
b.Environmental Planning Services,
c.Botanical Services,
d.Zoological Services,
e.Waste Management Services,
f.Pollution Control Services,
g.Soil Science Services, -
h.Environmental Education and Training Services, and
i.Cultural Resource Services.


37.        This capability is extended at regional level by two dedicated environmental posts at each of the five RFIM offices, a further ten posts. These qualified personnel are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of military integrated environmental management at regional level. The regional office in Cape Town serves the Western Cape Province, the Bloemfontein office serves Northern Cape Province and the Free State, the Durban office serves KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, the Pretoria office serves Gauteng and North West Province and the Pietersburg RFIM office serves Northern Province and Mpumalanga.


38.        At level 4, the GSB’s will have an environmental service centre of at least one dedicated environmental officer per GSB. This implies that at least 24 qualified personnel will be responsible to support units, force structure elements and satellite offices regarding the management of their environment. Therefore, to summarise the DOD has a total of 47 dedicated environmental posts, supplemented by staff to physically execute the environmental programmes.





39.        The Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR) is responsible for meeting the needs of the DOD and other government departments of the Republic of South Africa in terms of armaments and related products and services to maintain key industries and technologies. It is also responsible to market and promote the local defence-related industry.


40.        ARMSCOR provides specialist guidance to clients who need cost-effective solutions without jeopardising the quality or capability of products and systems. It also offers clients a range of government-to-government contracting opportunities, development of technologies, test and evaluation and defence industrial participation. Furthermore, ARMSCOR is responsible for marketing and selling of surplus equipment for the DOD.


41.        ARMSCOR’s approach to its environment calls for continuous improvement in environmentally managed activities such as waste minimisation, pollution prevention and conservation. It is respected for it’s scientific approach to environmental management and conservation. A corporate culture of responsibility towards the environment, encompassing all the facilities within the ARMSCOR group, is now a well-established business philosophy.


42.        Being fully aware of its environmental responsibilities, ARMSCOR is committed to the conservation of sites under its control. Special emphasis is placed on international protocols and conventions regarding environmental issues as well as meeting all future environmental legal requirements. ARMSCOR continuously strives to monitor and manage its activities to ensure that these are adhered to. Its activities are also aimed at educating its employees in environmental consciousness.


43.        A holistic environmental approach addresses the entire environmental spectrum, people, plants, animals, soil, water and air, together with archaeological and cultural historical aspects.