SA Army Support Formation GOC warns finance shortfall will continue

8278

The continued importance of keeping the SA Army mobile was stressed by General Officer Commanding its support formation, Major General Thituwi Mulaudzi, on a recent visit to the Combat Training Centre (CTC) in the Northern Cape.

The two-star heard personnel from 16 Maintenance Unit and 101 Field Workshop are under pressure on various fronts. These include, according to unit commanders and reported by Lieutenant Selogile Leshage, budget constraints, lack of adequate accommodation and “critical” vacant posts.

101’s current priority tasking is urgent maintenance and repair of Mambas for the Light Modern Brigade at CTC, completion of the Chief Army trailer conversion project and “continuous technical maintenance and repair support to the Mechanised Modern Brigade” the unit’s Acting Officer Commanding, Major Tumi Moilwa, told Mulaudzi and his entourage. 101 personnel currently serve  in Mozambique as part of Operation Vikela, the South African commitment to SAMIM (Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique) and the ongoing border protection tasking, Operation Corona.

17 Maintenance Unit’s workload was described as being part of Operation Chariot in the Eastern Cape, as well as continentally in both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, with Corona vehicle maintenance also on the menu. The unit also supports both the individual sub-unit commanders’ (ISUC) and senior non-commissioned officers’ operational duties courses.

Mulaudzi told technical personnel and command staffers from both units “a declining budget affecting the defence force was a major challenge”.

“The bulk of the South African government’s budget is allocated to social development and education. The national defence force receives little from National Treasury and the little we get must be used wisely. We must divide what we receive as SA Army Support Formation among the 38 units under my command,” he is quoted as saying.

He cautioned Technical Service Corps personnel stationed at the SA Army’s prime training area against fraud and corruption, giving the example of using “state assets”.

“If you repair civilian vehicles during weekends utilising equipment of the SA National Defence Force, that’s misusing state assets.”