UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

DEFENCE FUEL SHORTAGE UNACCEPTABLE

STATEMENT ISSUED BY GERHARD KOORNHOF, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR FINANCE

The fuel shortages that are being experienced by the air force reflect the government's inability to identify and provide for issues relating to national security.

This fact is even more alarming when viewed against the backdrop of the fiscal year only being 5 months old. The shortfall amounts to approximately R160 million and thus cannot be said to be a minor miscalculation. Too many and unscheduled VIP flights adds to this dismal picture, whilst the nation begs the question as to whether the country's ministers and President would not be more effective in attending to issues of national concern by being at home more often.

The UDM calls on the Ministers of Finance and Defence to employ basic budgetary and management skills to avert the possibility of having our defence system crippled. In addition the UDM calls on the Minister of Defence to better engage our pilots in national security matters, such as effectively training them for their positions, as opposed to courtesy flights for over-zealous VIPs. It is particularly disturbing that ANC government is prepared to pay R50 billion on arms, the largest proportion of which is for the acquisition of fighter aircrafts, yet they cannot even finance the fuel to keep current aircraft operational.

Enquiries:
Dr Gerhard Koornhof, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Finance
083 - 308 6864

Cape Town
07 August 2001