The defence department’s inadequate budget is affecting its operations, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says. Sisulu was responding in writing to a parliamentary question by Mlindi Nhanha of the Congress of the People.
Nhanha asked whether the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) budget was impacting on its battle fitness and readiness. Sisulu responded: “Naturally, and as a matter of life, any gap in resources will have some kind of impact on the activities one is engaged in. That applies to the department of defence and the SANDF.” The SANDF’s budget needed to be a matter of concern for all South Africans, she said.
“The matter has not been dealt [with] to the full satisfaction of the ministry and the department and we remain hopeful that the budget would be increased in the not-too-distant future.”
The National Assembly’s defence committee as a whole should be concerned about this matter, she said. In her budget speech in the Assembly in April, Sisulu said the SANDF’s budget was hopelessly inadequate. The SANDF’s budget allocation for 2011/12 announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in February is R38.4 billion and was projected to grow to R43.9 billion in 2013/14.