Wednesday, December 19, 2018
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SANDF and the 2019 general election

SANDF and 2019 general electionWhile a date a not yet been announced for next year’s general election, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is ready to assist in ensuring public order is maintained.

This, along with the fact that financial resources have been provided for, was revealed by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula during a National Assembly question session for Cabinet’s Peace and Security Cluster this week.

She was answering Democratic Alliance MP Kobus Marais. He wanted to know if any extra training was planned or underway for the national defence force in, for example, crowd control ahead of elections.

“The SANDF conducts continuous training to its members as part of force preparation programmes in units. Training covers all aspects of force employment activities in accordance with standing operations. Support to the SA Police Service in the maintenance of law and order/safety and security is part of Operation Prosper,” Mapisa-Nqakula’s response said in part.

Prosper is the code name for the tasking which sees the national defence force provide support to other government departments, as happened earlier this year when the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) was deployed in North West.

Other training is for Operation Corona (border protection), Operation Chariot (disaster management), Operation Arabella (search and rescue) and peace support operations. South Africa is currently part of only one peace support operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where troops and equipment, including Rooivalk combat support helicopters form part of the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB).

The Minster indicated to Marais financial resources for any possible deployment ahead of and during next year’s election will come from the force employment component of the national defence budget of just on R48 billion. Contingencies and forecast activities are factored into this component and include allocation of forces and equipment “in accordance with contingency planning”.

“The requirement to deploy the SANDF in support of the SA Police Service for the 2019 general elections will come through the NATJOINTS (National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure) assessment and subsequently through a decision of parliament,” the Minister said.

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