SA Army budget: same old, same old

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The South African Army’s expenditure over the next few years will increase some 8.0 percent, the National Treasury says. That translates into an increase from the R11.3 billion allocated in FY2011/12 to R14.3 billion in FY2014/5. By contrast, expenditure was R7.5 billion in FY2008/09.

The Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) document (Vote 22, Defence and Military Veterans) avers “these increases are mainly due to the carry through effect of the improvements in conditions of service of defence force members in 2010, an increased maintenance requirement of the army’s ageing operational vehicle fleet, operationalisation of landward defence equipment renewal projects, and the procurement of critical ammunition. Similar wording have been found in the ENE for many of the last several years.

The ENE adds the increase of 72.2 percent in spending in the Support Capability subprogramme in 2011/12 was due to the increase in compensation of employees, provision for transporting redundant assets to be disposed, procurement of ammunition and parachutes, and the delivery milestones of the mobile and rapid deployable mass feeding system (Project Teamster). Expenditure in the Infantry Capability subprogramme is expected to increase from R3.4 billion in 2011/12 to R5 billion in 2014/15, at an average annual rate of 14.4 percent, due to the extension of the development plan of the new generation infantry combat vehicle product system (Project Hoefyster) and the delivery milestones of the new generation operational supply support vehicle system (Project Vistula?). The projected 62.1 percent increase in expenditure in the Air Defence Artillery Capability subprogramme in 2012/13 is due to the delivery milestones of the shoulder launched air defence artillery system (GBADS 1, Project Guardian).

Treasury adds the Army’s task is to defend and protect South Africa and its territory by:
– providing 2 infantry battalions for external deployment, and 1 airborne battalion as Chief of the South African National Defence Reaction Force, for internal safety and security including border safeguarding per year;
– exercising 1 tank and 1 armoured car regiment, and providing 1 squadron for internal deployment per year;
– exercising 1 composite artillery and 1 light (airborne) artillery capability, and providing 1 battery for internal deployment per year;
– exercising 1 air defence artillery and 1 light (airborne) air defence artillery capability and providing 1 battery for internal deployment per year;
– providing 1 sustained composite engineer capability for external deployment and for internal safety and security; exercising 1 light (airborne) engineer and 1 field engineer capability per year providing 2 signal squadrons for external deployment, internal signal support, and exercising 1 composite signal capability per year.



The document explains the Army as follows:
• Strategic Direction directs, orchestrates and controls the South African army in achieving its mission to prepare and provide supported landward capabilities for the defence and protection of South Africa. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 697 and a total budget of R556.1 million in 2011/12, of which 45 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Infantry Capability provides combat ready infantry capabilities through training, preparing, exercising and supporting mechanised, motorised and airborne infantry units. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 16 328 and a total budget of R3.4 billion in 2011/12, of which 86.7 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Armour Capability provides combat ready armour capabilities through training, preparing, exercising and supporting tank and armoured car units. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 1537 and a total budget of R295.3 million in 2011/12, of which 93.3 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme .
• Artillery Capability provides combat ready artillery capabilities through training, preparing, exercising and supporting composite and light artillery units. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 1582 and a total budget of R381.7 million, of which 76.8 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Air Defence Artillery Capability provides combat ready air defence artillery capabilities through training, preparing, exercising and supporting air defence artillery units. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 1028 and a total budget of R389 million in 2011/12, of which 53.9 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Engineering Capability provides combat ready engineering capabilities to ensure mobility and establish infrastructure during exercises and deployments through training, preparing, exercising and supporting field and construction engineer units. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 2641 and a total budget of R498.3 million, of which 92.9 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Operational Intelligence provides combat ready operational intelligence capabilities to enable successful planning and execution of operations through training, preparing, exercising and supporting intelligence units. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 736 and a total budget of R185.6 million, of which 83.2 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Command and Control Capability provides combat ready tactical command and control capabilities for integrated forces during force preparation and force employment. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 476 and a total budget of R126 million, of which 92.9 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Support Capability provides first, second and fourth line support capabilities to units and bases, and ensures support to deployed combat units through training, preparing, exercising and supporting of first and second line maintenance units and workshops. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 9821 and a total budget of R4.4 billion, of which 43.5 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• General Training Capability provides general training capabilities through basic military training, junior leader training, common landward training, and command and management training at the training depot and decentralised units, the South African Army Gymnasium, the Combat Training Centre and the South African Army College. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 1152 and a total budget of R320.4 million, of which 84.1 percent was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.
• Signal Capability provides combat ready signal capabilities to ensure command, control and communications during exercises and deployments through training, preparing, exercising and supporting signal units. This subprogramme had a staff complement of 3 984 and a total budget of R852.8 million, of which 92.4 percent of the total budget was used for compensation of employees. No savings or reductions in 2012/13 have been identified in this subprogramme.