Sisulu unveils defence sponsors

2010-12-13 16:04

Cape Town - Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Monday disclosed the details of controversial sponsorships received by her department, ranging from marble rolling pins to funds to host golf days and conferences.

Sisulu said in reply to a parliamentary question that the defence department had received a total of 112 sponsorships with a combined value of R767 234 since April 2009.

These included R14 000 worth of donations from catering and automobile companies to host the defence force chef of the year competition in 2010, and R68 000 from Denel for upgrading the new VIP accommodation at Denel House.

Old Mutual [JSE:OML] gave the SA Navy Fund R90 319 to host a gender conference in Parow in April.

Ford, Nissan and Toyota contributed funds to host a gala evening for the Warrant Officer Forum and five companies contributed R23 840 to train members of 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.

Sisulu has been criticised for allowing a practice of seeking sponsorship from members of the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) to finance balls, golf days and conferences and demanding "cash for access" to military events.

The Democratic Alliance said it was unacceptable and had been going on for years.

In June, the minister ordered that no sponsorship be accepted for a meeting of the Military Command Council, after it emerged that the defence force had asked the industry to bankroll the event at an expensive north coast golf estate.

However, in her reply Sisulu outlined several events involving corporate sponsorship, including R10 000 used in October this year to host a prestige golf day to strengthen ties between private industry and the army.

She said sponsorships were regulated by the Public Finance Management Act, indicating that the department used this as a guideline for acceptable practice.