The latest annual performance plan (APP) of the Department of Defence (DoD) lists seven different deployment priorities for the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
They are given in no apparent order of priority and start with peace support operations, followed by “foreign interests in Africa”; the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC); prevention and resolution of conflict; providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief; support in combatting “maritime piracy along the east coast of Africa” and building safer communities. No mention is made of support to other government departments and agencies as is currently underway with “employment” of over 73 000 military personnel in Operation Notlela.
On peace support operations, the APP notes: “A number of states in Africa can be classified as complex security areas that may require deployment of the SANDF as part of multinational armed forces of the United Nations (UN) or the African Union (AU).
“South Africa will continue to participate in peace missions in support of its own foreign policy and as part of multinational commitments.”
In line with this is the APP on foreign interests in Africa. It states that foreign states continue to support efforts to counter threats to African security and assist allies through building of security forces to counter these threats and strengthen the rule of law.
“Military priorities linked to this are countering violent extremist organisations, maritime security, countering illicit trafficking, countering migration, strengthening indigenous defence capabilities as well as preparing for and responding to crises.”
On crisis response, the document notes “Almost ten years after the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU was established, the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) established a new capability – the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC)”.
“South Africa has pledged armed forces to the ACIRC and the DoD will ensure the operation thereof when required. The AU indicated the ACIRC will be harmonised with the AU Rapid Deployment Capability.”
Diplomatic, military and other efforts will, according to the APP, be part of South Africa’s contribution to the prevention and resolution of conflict. These efforts will “in certain instances” be supported by “appropriate military capabilities that strengthen South Africa’s capacity to influence international developments”.
Key issues include joint force employment requirements to guide SANDF planning for military operations; the defence budget “informing expenditure on force preparation”; Parliament voting on Presidential authorisation for SANDF “employment, including additional funds required” and complying with government policy.
On safer communities, the APP has it that “the contribution of the DoD to building these is realised through conducting internal operations and safeguarding the territorial integrity of South Africa”.