The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will not be retrenching in the foreseeable future.
That’s the word from Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula who said the force would “not be giving up any warm bodies” on the eve of this year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition.
Current force level is around the eighty-nine thousand mark across all four arms of service – air force, army, military health service and navy – and includes civilian personnel.
She also hinted at the possibility of another continental peace support deployment but did not say whether it would be under the auspices of the AU or UN.
Mapisa-Nqakula told a pre-AAD briefing implementation of the Defence Review was on track and this “definitely” included the human resource component.
“I can assure members there will be no loss of warm bodies in the SANDF and at the same time the human component of the Defence Review is aware of the need to attract skilled youth.”
Part of this, she said, was to be seen in the Youth Development programme at AAD.
“This will expose our young people to engineering and technology, entrepreneurial skills, youth development and career opportunities.”
Secretary for Defence Dr Sam Gulube on Tuesday at the Armscor AAD Conference said that the Department of Defence has been instructed by Treasury to reduce its budget by R5 billion over the next three years, with a key focus on human resources. “Treasury said reduce the wage bill by R5 billion,” he said, but did not mention any personnel cuts.