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Dept of Defence annual report short on Defence Review implementation detail

Defence annual report on Defence ReviewTop management of South Africa’s military resource has indicated it will take six years to fully implement Milestone One of halting the decline of the South African National Defence Force’s defence capabilities and this is extrapolated somewhat in the just released 2016/17 Department of Defence (DoD) annual report.

Under the heading “SA Defence Review 2015, Milestone One, implementation within financial year 2016/17 resource allocation” a sub-heading “End State 4: Restructuring the SANDF” notes “part two of the military strategy (blue print force design) was drafted in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. This force design is still under development and will be finalised with completion of the new military strategy”.

Not one of the 12 end states reported on, most brief and lacking detail, gives any indication of a new military strategy for South Africa.

Starting with one, the end states run through “sustained ordered defence commitments” to “capability sustainment and renewal”, “defence facilities maintained, “restructuring of the defence force”, “human resources management”, “defence academy established”, “military discipline enhanced”, “relationship established between DoD education, training and development programmes and accredited tertiary institutions”, “defence funding model development”, “defence industry engagements established”, “strategic direction for implementation of the Defence Review” and “strategic communication intervention”.

The “over-arching implementation plan” for Milestone One of the Defence Review is reported as the following: “Under the auspices of the Defence Review Implementation Project Team (DRIPT), a technical team was constituted which has developed the implementation framework of the Defence Review. The DoD plan to Arrest the Decline has been completed and subsequently approved by the council on Defence on March 7, 2017. The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans directed that Option Two of the Plan will be the basis for further engagement with the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCD&MV), Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD), National Treasury (NT) and Cabinet”.

The report also informs readers an “inter-departmental budget task team between the DoD and NT (National Treasury) was established to determine the most feasible funding solutions to the DoD Milestone One Plan to Arrest the Decline”.

As far as funding for the DoD and the SANDF is concerned the report has it that “a professional services company was appointed to assist the DoD with the development of the policy and strategy for the Defence Funding Model. The final report on the Defence Funding Model was drafted for consultation with in the Department. This report includes the draft policy, draft strategy and draft implementation plan for comment and approval. Knowledge and skills transfer on this Model is ongoing”.

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