The South African Cabinet’s international co-operation, trade and security (ICTS) cluster was the first to host a post State of the Nation Address (SONA) briefing where Posts and Telecommunications Minister, Siyabonga Cwele, outlined developments.
Speaking in Cape Town at the weekend he said South Africa’s commitment to peacekeeping on the African continents would continue.
“Our involvement in peacekeeping missions is premised on our appreciation that Africa’s economic development depends on the substance of peace and stability. The SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) contribution to peace improves the lives of fellow Africans and the continent in general, guided by the objective of contributing to peace and stability.
“The SANDF continued to participate in the UN peace support operations on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the UN/AU hybrid mission in Sudan.
“The SANDF also continues to provide military training assistance to other armed forces on the continent. This military training assistance is being provided to the DRC in which combat and combat support capabilities have been established. Elements of these forces have proven their combat skills along with other SADC forces during offensive operations of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) against the M23 rebels. The SANDF has also provided military assistance to Angola and Namibia for naval control and guidance of shipping.”
He also indicated the SANDF had “recently” become part of the newly established African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC). This, he said, was an interim mechanism to assist in peace and security on the continent until such time as the African Standby Force (ASF) was ready.
“Maritime security continues to be another key operation for the SANDF along the east coast of the continent. The SANDF successfully deployed two ships, SAS Makhanda and SAS Isaac Dyobha in the Mozambique Channel during the operation since 2011. This operation has served as a deterrent in the Mozambique Channel,” Cwele said.
As far as disaster management was concerned the Minister pointed to the SANDF’s involvement in flood relief in Mozambique and the successful repatriation of the last of the South Africans killed during the collapse of a church building in Lagos, Nigeria, last September.
This was, according to him, the largest evacuation of South African citizens carried out by the SANDF.
Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, will this Thursday (February 19) host the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster post-SONA briefing on implementation of government’s programme of action.