The landward defence component of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is by far its largest and accordingly bears the brunt of responsibilities when it comes to defending and protecting South Africa.
These responsibilities cost money and are directly impacted by what National Treasury and the Minister of Finance deem to be an acceptable budget allocation for not only the SA Army, but the entire SANDF.
As has happened in recent years the funding level allocated comes nowhere near meeting the expense of soldiers, military materiel and support.
The Department of Defence (DoD) annual performance plan for the current year points out the cost of prepared and supported landward defence capabilities as being an estimated R33 billion plus. It has been allocated about half of this – R16.234 billion – by National Treasury to, among others, provide infantry, tank and armoured car, composite and air defence artillery as well as signals, engineers, support and intelligence capabilities.
The shortfall of R16 926 034 827 will, according to the performance plan, impact on the Army’s ability to provide trained forces as well as renewing and maintaining operational capabilities in the landward force. This is at odds with Milestone One of the Defence Review which has at its core arresting the decline in military functionality.
Another area that will suffer is providing general training capabilities by way of basic military training (BMT), junior leader training, common landward training, command and management training as well as force preparation exercises and annual training courses.
The landward defence programme consumes just on 34% of the total defence budget of R47.9 billion.