The update of the 1996 defence White Paper and 1998 Defence Review is now due in Parliament and the public domain in November.
That`s the word from the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thabang Makwetla, who spoke to defenceWeb last week on the periphery of a conference on the state of the South African National Defence Force`s Reserve division.
Speaking in the stead of minister Lindiwe Sisulu he told conferees that the main purpose of the update “has been to re-appreciate the changed strategic environment which faces the RSA and consequently the impact this has on the role of the SANDF.”
He added he was “pleased to report that this process has led to the creation of a very important and comprehensive document entitled ‘Defence Strategy 2010- 2030` which is currently in an approval process.
“This document takes into consideration the changing nature of conflict that faces military forces all over the world, the ever increasing demands placed on the SANDF by government and the expectations placed on us by the international community.”
Asked afterwards when this process would see a tangible document delivered into the public domain, he said “November.”
He added that the change in political leadership of the department had delayed matters. Former minister Charles Nqakula in April ordered the process to be complete by end-July.
Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko says efforts to modernise the SA Army are “ongoing”.
Asked at Thursday`s Cabinet briefing about the replacement of dated equipment, he said the “review is ongoing. When the minister is ready to come to Cabinet with a clear recommendation it will be discussed at that point.
“…all I`m saying there is an acknowledgement that major decisions have to be taken in order to strengthen the military and make sure it becomes a truly modern military.”
Both the defence and finance ministries have previously said the Army would be the near term focus of capital spending in the SANDF.
Pic: A 6SA Infantry Battalion RPG7 team preparing to fire.