Personnel exits will impact SANDF “health warriors”


South Africans serving in the national defence force are often lumped together as the “human resource component” of the force with their importance acknowledged earlier this year as its “engine”.

The acknowledgement came during a Department of Defence (DoD) Logistics Division workshop in Limpopo where reducing personnel numbers in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) came under the spotlight.

With a target of 73 000 across the SANDF to aim at, Surgeon General, Lieutenant General (Dr) Peter Maphaha used the latest SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) News to set out what the “health warriors” in particular face.

Taking Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise’s budget vote address to Parliament in May as a starting point, the three-star pointed to the mobility exit mechanism (MEM) with a R1.8 billion funding allocation over the next two financial terms, as being one component where SAMHS has to “collaborate”. He sees assistance in managing compensation of employees (CoE) as needing to be emphasised and communicated “simply and efficiently” in the “department” (presumably the service he heads). No numbers of personnel to be possibly affected by MEMs implementation is given.

On a positive note Maphaha tells readers of SAHMS News “appointment and
promotion of competent, dynamic and enthusiastic soldiers will be a priority”.

In June, Parliament heard a number of “implications” were and will affect the ability of the SANDF to fulfil its mandate and execute tasks assigned it by Commander-in-Chief, President Cyril Ramaphosa. They include non-implementation of the 2015 Defence Review, initially focussed on arresting the decline of SANDF capabilities. These relate to both the equipment and personnel across the four services, three of which are combat oriented with SAMHS the support service, in field and via a network of three military hospitals and sickbays at bases nationally.