Personnel cuts coming across the DoD and SANDF


The Human Resources Division of the Department of Defence (DoD) plans for more than a thousand five hundred personnel to exit posts in the four SA National Defence Force (SANDF) services, with Defence Intelligence and the Chaplain Services Division – to a lesser extent – also in the retrenchment firing line.

As the largest component of the national defence force, the SA Army has to implement mobility exit mechanisms (MEMs) for 998 personnel across its formations and directorates. A long way behind the landward force, in number terms of personnel having to go, are the SA Air Force (SAAF), which has to trim its ranks by 218 people, with the SA Navy (SAN) going to be 159 less and the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) 156 lighter in people – and salary terms.

The reduction in numbers does not indicate how many will be shed from the uniformed side of national defence force and how many are civilian PSAP (Public Service Act Personnel).

The MEM letter from the Human Resource Division of the Department of Defence (DoD) advising of numbers and the process to be followed is penned in line with the MEM for serving SANDF members dated February this year and CSANDF Instruction 06/2022.

Implementation of the MEM is one of five interventions DoD Human Resource Chief Vice Admiral Asiel Kubu told a March meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) were going to result in an “average planned” SANDF personnel strength of 73 000 over the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF).

Acknowledgement of the high cost of personnel in the SANDF came from Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise when replying to a recent Parliamentary question. She told Kobus Marais, Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister for her portfolio, a SA Army initiative to set up bakeries for military use would boost the “buying power of an inadequate [defence] budget after paying salaries”.

Marais maintains 69% of the R49.09 billion defence budget is swallowed by employee compensation.