Defence strategy update a DoD a short term focus: Treasury

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The National Treasury says the Department of Defence will in the short term “focus on updating the defence strategy, improving defence facilities and infrastructure, and preparing, maintaining and employing current defence capabilities.” In relation to internal deployments, the department will focus on finalising its border management and safeguarding strategy.

Over the medium term, the department will focus on achieving an affordable and sustainable force structure, rightsizing, and the rejuvenation of its human resources. “Joint, interdepartmental and multinational exercises are also planned and will contribute to ensuring appropriate levels of force readiness,” the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) add.

The defence budget for the year from April 1 is R34.604, up from R30.4 billion for the financial year ending in March. For the 2012/13 year, the Treasury has pencilled in R37.371 billion, rising to R39.702 billion in April 2013. The ENE notes the spending focus for the next three years will be on maintaining current capabilities, strengthening borderline control, and peace missions.
“Between 2007/08 and 2010/11, expenditure increased from R25.2 billion to R30.4 billion, at an average annual rate of 6.5% Over the medium term, expenditure is expected to increase to R39.7 billion, at an average annual rate of 9.3%. The increase over the medium term is due to additional funding to improve conditions of service for defence force members, increase uptake into the military skills development system, modernise landward defence capabilities and border safeguarding.
“The Landward Defence programme remains the largest programme and takes up 33.1% of the department’s budget over the medium term. Expenditure on this programme is expected to increase from R9 billion in 2010/11 to R13.7 billion in 2013/14, at an average annual rate of 15.1%, mainly due to additional allocations in the 2010 Estimates of National Expenditure for landward defence renewal. The decrease of 23.3% in spending in the Maritime Defence programme in 2008/09 is due to the finalisation of frigate and submarine strategic defence procurement projects, while the decrease of 35.9% in 2010/11 and 2.9% in 2013/14 in the Air Defence programme is due to the termination of the A400M aircraft contract and the achievement of delivery milestones of the Gripen strategic defence procurement programme. The increases of 8.7% in 2012/13 and 10.5% in 2013/14 in the Force Employment programme are due to the allocation of funds for border safeguarding.
“The ratio of administrative costs to line function programme costs in 2011/12 is 1:5. The majority of administrative costs are within the Administration and General Support programmes. Expenditure on compensation of employees at R16.8 billion or 48.5% of the 2011/12 budget remains the largest item of expenditure in the defence budget and is largely due to implementing a new remuneration system in the department. Expenditure on goods and services, and transfers and subsidies make up 30.4% and 20.2% of the total budget in 2011/12. These percentages remain relatively stable over the medium term. The special defence account receives R6 billion or 86% in transfers in 2011/12 to acquire and upgrade main weapon systems and technology. R820.9 million will be transferred to Armscor for acquisition, maintenance and disposal services of defence matériel,” the ENE adds.

Savings of R506.6 million in 2011/12, R568.1 million in 2012/13 and R549.2 million in 2013/14 have been identified across all programmes in spending on goods and services, mainly in spending on contractors. “Significant effort has also gone into implementing other cost containment measures throughout the department without compromising frontline defence services. These include: limiting overseas visits and travel; limiting the replacement of sedan vehicles; reducing the procurement of books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines and office furniture; and curtailing expenditure on work sessions and catering. In addition, more work will be done to address armament acquisition over the MTEF period to ensure that the cash flow arrangements remain as planned.”

The ENE adds the main objective of the Departments of Defence is to defend and protect South Africa, its territorial integrity and its people, in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of international law regulating the use of force. But this must fit the larger goals of government as contained in its medium term strategic framework and the outcomes approach. “The revised focus embraces government’s developmental objectives and the department’s core aims. The department will contribute to: ensuring a long and healthy life for all South Africans (outcome 2) through
its 88 geographic health care facilities and 3 specialist or tertiary hospitals; ensuring that all people in South Africa are and feel safe (outcome 3) through borderline management; and developing a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path (outcome 5) through the military skills development system. In relation to creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa and world (outcome 11), the department will take on the secretariat and coordinating role as the lead department in the international cooperation, trade and security cluster.”

The ENE continue that specific strategic priorities that reflect the department’s developmental path and are linked to performance indicators include: the department’s contribution and support to the United Nations (UN) requirements for its peace missions: working with the African Union (AU) in support of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) early warning centre, which will help the organisation’s member states detect signs of crises, conflicts or natural disasters; and being a signatory to SADC’s standby force agreements and pledges. In relation to internal deployments, the department will focus on finalising its border management and safeguarding strategy.
“The department will continue to enhance the one force, core force and growth force process, which ensures an appropriate balance between regular members, reserve members and personnel appointed in terms of the Public Service Act (1994). The process will be strengthened by the national youth service concept, improvements to the military skills development system and the increased use of the Reserve Force component as a supplement to the core system of defence. The department will also continue to upgrade the South African National Defence Force’s equipment for its primary missions.”

 

Audited actual spend

Revised estimate

 

MTEF estimates

 

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

FY2013/14

Administration

R2.153.9bn

R2.480bn

R2.914bn

R3.417bn

R3.718bn

R4.052bn

R4.395bn

Force Employment

R1.581bn

R1.913bn

R1.886bn

R2.282bn

R2.241bn

R2.436bn

R2.692bn

Landward (Army)

R7.128bn

R7.487bn

R9.042bn

R9.009bn

R11.763bn

R12.773bn

R13.730bn

Air (SAAF)

R7.314bn

R8.018bn

R8.643bn

R5.536bn

R6.768bn

R7.216bn

R7.007bn

Maritime (Navy)

R2.396bn

R1.837bn

R1.997bn

R2.358bn

R2.500bn

R2.539bn

R2.919bn

Military Health

R1.877bn

R2.176bn

R2.608bn

R3.049bn

R3.044bn

R3.328bn

R3.519bn

Defence Intelligence

R0.461bn

R0.506bn

R0.594bn

R0.656bn

R0.668bn

R0.702bn

R0.737bn

General Support

R2.266bn

R3.380bn

R3.637bn

R4.132bn

R3.899bn

R4.322bn

R4.701bn

Total

R25.180bn

R27.801bn

R31.324bn

R30.442bn

R34.604bn

R37.371bn



R39.702bn