All three main legs of the South African security machine – Border Management Authority (BMA), SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and SA Police Service (SAPS) – will, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet, receive a share of over R2 billion “to fight illegal mining and other crimes”.
The money is from the Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA), Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said at a briefing on last week’s Cabinet meeting.
Additionally, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is listed by Ntshaveni as a recipient of CARA funding.
She did not break down how the R2.1 billion in the CARA will be split among the four, which defenceWeb lists above alphabetically in the interests of clarity.
The only security entity listed with any acquisition detail is the SAPS. The Cabinet briefing statement has it the police will “use the funding to buy vehicles, helicopters, Nyalas and will deploy more than four thousand officers for 18 months”.
Illegal mining rates a second mention in the statement with Cabinet “welcoming the deployment of 3 300 members of the SANDF from 28 October 2023 until 28 April 2024 to support the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies to deal with illegal mining”. The deployment “affirms” government’s commitment to end illegal mining and “create conditions for inclusive growth and transformation of the economy”.
The SANDF said the October to April deployment will cost R492 million (of which R256 million is for compensation of employees and R235 million for goods and services). “The costs for this deployment is unfunded in the FY2023/24 DoD (Department of Defence) financial allocation and is considered unforeseen and unavoidable,” the SANDF told Parliament earlier this month.
The cost of deploying soldiers to assist police and in-house security, in the case of Eskom, was also raised in the National Assembly (NA) as a Parliamentary question for Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise.
A Cape Town report has it she told ANC (African National Congress) public representative Thabo Mmutle, she “hoped” the SANDF would be reimbursed through the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) for soldiers doing guard and security duties at power stations.
The report has it since December las year the national defence force has been supporting police and Eskom “in securing critical infrastructure on the instruction of President Ramaphosa”. The deployment was necessitated by theft and vandalism which contributed to “energy shortages”.
“The deployment of SANDF has enabled Eskom to repair, maintain and secure power stations and furthermore has positively contributed towards reducing load shedding and enabled the government to continue to work towards stabilising and increasing the energy action plan,” Modise is reported as informing her questioner.