SA Army budget unpacked

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The South African Army’s budget is set to increase at double its recent pace, as the National Treasury awards additional funding for larger military skills development system intakes, as the land service’s ageing operational vehicle fleet requires increased maintenance, the military initiates equipment renewal projects, procures critical ammunition and implements an expensive new military salary dispensation.

The Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure shows the Army budget increasing from R7.1 billion in FY2007/08 to R9 billion in FY2010/11, at an average annual rate of 8.1% and is expected to increase to R13.7 billion over the medium term, at an average annual rate of 15.1%. te bulk of funds will be going to salaries however; R7.408 billion out of R11.763 billion this year, R7.836 billion from R12.773 billion next year and R8.37 billion on a budget of R13.730 billion in April 2013.
“The spending focus over the MTEF period will be on providing forces for internal and external deployments according to government requirements. In this regard, the South African Army will continue to prepare its forces to comply with military strategic objectives and facilitate individual formal training to ensure career progress. Assets and equipment will be maintained and managed to support deployments and force preparation. Huge efforts will also be made to replace obsolete ammunition and equipment and to build up sufficient stock to enable comprehensive force preparation and training,” the ENE says.
“Expenditure in the Air Defence Artillery Capability subprogramme is expected to increase from R8 million in 2010/11 to R458.4 million in 2011/12, due to a shift in delivery milestones of the shoulder launched air defence artillery system [GBADS 1, Project Guardian] and mobile ground to air missile system programmes [GBADS 2, Project Protector]. The increase of 48% in expenditure
in the Strategic Direction subprogramme in 2011/12 is due to the implementation and roll-out of a new logistic system in the South African Army and the codification of assets, while the increase of 53.2% in the Artillery Capability subprogramme in 2011/12 is due to the delivery milestones of the artillery target engagement system [Project Klooster]. The increase of 69.4% in spending in the Support Capability subprogramme in 2011/12 is due to increased spending on compensation of employees, provision for transport of redundant assets to be disposed of, the procurement of ammunition and parachutes, the replacement of logistic support vehicles and the delivery milestones of the mobile and rapid deployable mass feeding system [Project Teamster].

Over the medium term, spending in the Operational Intelligence subprogramme is projected to decrease at an average annual rate of 15.3% in between 2010/11 and 2013/14 due to the finalisation of the mobile intelligence processing system [Project Cytoon]. Between 2010/11 and 2013/14, transfers and subsidies are expected to grow by 80.8% due to the replacement of obsolete ammunition and parachutes, while expenditure on payments for capital assets is expected to increase by at average annual rate of 62.4% over the same period due to the replacement of
obsolete, big tonnage, logistic support vehicles.

As such the capabilities with “disposable income” are the artillery, the air defence artillery, operational intelligence and “support.”

The ENE notes the Infantry has a staff complement of 15 785 and a total budget of R3.5 billion, of which 79.9% will be used for salaries. The Armour has a complement of 1 150, and a total budget of R288.9 million, of which 92.6% will be used for pay. The Artillery musters 1651 and enjoy a total budget of R467.4 million of which 60.9% will be used for staff compensation and 35% for capital acquisitions. The Air Defence Artillery counts up to 1062 and has a total budget of R458.4 million, of which just 44.4% will be used for pay and 51.9% for capital acquisitions. Secretary for Defence Mpumi Mpofu last week said there had been “considerable delays” with GBADS 1. “We have been in negotiations with Denel … around this particular matter and specifically there is an issue related to a payment of R150 million which would really facilitate further progress being achieved on this particular project and I think the challenge that we do face is a challenge of delivery meeting the timeframes that have been set for this project and our current negotiations we would indicate when it is favourable because we are the client.
“For us as a client to continue making payment when we see significant progress made with respect to this particular project. So we are currently under discussions and we would be able to conclude as long as we can see how the progress that needs to be made with respect to this matter can be secured and we need to be convinced by Denel,” she said at a media briefing last week.

The Engineer capability has a staff complement of 2475 and a total budget of R485.2 million, of which, by contrast, a whopping 92.7% will be used for “compensation of employees”. Operational Intelligence musters just 770 and has a budget of R232 million, of which 60.5% will be used for salaries and 35.6% for capital acquisitions. The Army’s brigade headquarters, or “Command and Control Capability” provides combat ready tactical command and control capabilities for integrated forces during force preparation and force employment. The subprogramme has a staff complement of 414, and a total budget of R122.6 million, of which 92.7% will be used for staff compensation. The support capability provides line support capabilities to units and bases, and ensures support to deployed combat units through training, preparing, exercising and supporting first and second line maintenance units and workshops. “The subprogramme has a staff complement of 10 556, and a total budget of R4.5 billion, of which 41.4% will be used for pay employees, and 27.2% for capital acquisitions. The signals corps musters 4020 and has a total budget of R830.5 million, of which 92.2% will be used for salaries.

Lastly, the 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, the South African Army Gymnasium, the Combat Training Centre and the South African Army College. The subprogramme has a staff complement of 1500, the ENE notes, and a total budget of R312.6 million, of which 83.7% will be used for compensation of employees.

There is clearly then no funding for programmes such as the Infantry’s Project Hoefyster, their next-generation infantry combat vehicle, or, based on the comments of Mpofu, even Project Vistula, the military’s SAMIL truck replacement programme. Project [Vistula] basically is intended to facilitate the acquisition of equipment to facilitate the strengthening, revitalisation of our land forces,” Mpofu said at the media briefing. “Specifically we’ve been dealing with this programme and there are particular issues relating to the initial acquisition and we think the programme will come back at the point at which we have finalised arrangements and the strategy for landward force equipment acquisition as an overall strategy and that project will then be revitalised at that particular time.”

Staffing/

% spend for salaries

Audited

Revised estimate

Estimated

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

FY2013/14

Strategic direction

730

43.9%

R178.8m

R258.9m

R350.0m

R373.4m

R552.5m

R568.4m

R526.9m

Infantry

15 785

79.9%

R2230.1m

R2508.7m

R3077.2m

R3320.6m

R3543.1m

R3985.4m

R4392.6m

Armour

1150

92.6%

R348.1m

R230.3m

R240.3m

R294.6m

R288.9m

R294.9m

R307.1m

Artillery

1651

60.9%

R485.6m

R343.8m

R328.0m

R305.1m

R467.4m

R433.8m

R579.3m

Air Defence

1062

44.4%

R262.4m

R 303.8m

R388.6m

R7.9m

R458.4m

R457.4m

R471.4m

Engineers

2475

92.7%

R243.7m

R 284.9m

R356.6m

R509.9m

R485.2m

R507.2m

R549.5m

Operational Intelligence

770

60.5%

R133.5m

R197m

R264.7m

R276.2m

R231.6m

R160.7m

R167.8m

C2

(Bde HQs)

414

92.7%

R78.1m

R86.7m

R99.6m

R131.4m

R122.6m

R135.7m

R143.5m

Support

10 556

41.4%

R2492.3m

R2525.1m

R 3021.9m

R2639.2m

R4470.5m

R5030.4m

R5322.0m

General Training

1500

83.7%

R177.8m

R219.5m

R269.5m

R377.0m

R312.6m

R328.4m

R347.8m

Signals

4020

92.2%

R497.7m

R528.5m

R645.7m

R774.0m

R830.5m

R871.6m

R922.2m

TOTAL

R7128m

R7487.2m

R9042.2m

R 9009.6m

R11 763.5m

R12 773.9m

R13 730.3m

Change to Feb 2010 budget estimate:

Down R973.3m

Up R1332.3m

Up R1711.8m

Up R2059.7m

Audited

Revised estimate

Estimated

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

FY2013/14

Salaries

R4113m

R4253.6m

R5331.6m

R6798.8m

R7408.9m

R7836.0m

R8327.4m

Special Defence Account

R2065.9m

R2018.3m

R2286.9m

R414.363m

R2233.7m

R2539.0m

R2823.0m



The ENE also tabulates the Army’s performance criteria as follows:
– providing two infantry battalions a year sustained for external deployment, one airborne battalion as Chief of the South African National Defence Reaction Force, nine multi-role companies for internal safety and security, two battalions in support of internal security (borderline control), and six battalions involved in exercises per year
– exercising one tank regiment and one armoured car regiment with a squadron for internal deployment per year
– exercising one composite artillery regiment and one light (airborne) artillery battery and one battery for internal deployment per year
– exercising one air defence artillery regiment and one light (airborne) air defence artillery battery and one battery for internal deployment per year
– providing one sustained composite engineer squadron for external deployment, one composite engineer squadron for internal safety and security, and exercising one light (airborne) engineer and one field engineer squadron per year
– providing two signal squadrons per year for external deployment, internal signal support, and two composite brigade signal squadron involved in exercises.