R180 million for the Reserves?

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The National Treasury says R180 million “could” be set aside for the training of the Reserves Force. The Parliamentary Monitoring Group says the unnamed official made the comment in Parliament last month.

Chief of Defence Reserves Major General Roy Anderson at the same briefing said the South African National Defence Force`s part-time soldiery needed about R100 million for “minimum training”.

The PMG`s minutes add that acting chairman Gerhard Koornhof said the Portfolio Committee on Defence had to be informed about budget constraints impinging on the Reserves.
“He suggested that future [Department of Defence] Annual Reports should carry a chapter on the Reserves similar to the others, instead of an appendix dealing with them. The Reserves constituted a core component. This Committee would recommend more support for the Reserves to Parliament.”
Anderson added that the SANDF now routinely deploys Reserve Force troops on peacekeeping missions. At the time of the briefing a company of the Witwatersrand Rifles, a mechanised infantry battalion, was on a six month deployment in Sudan`s Darfur province.
The typical South African infantry battalion includes three rifle- and a support company. The United Nations generally requires four companies, creating room to attach a Reserve company to a regular unit on deployment.           
Anderson says the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) is not producing sufficient recruits for the Reserve Force as most arer absorbed into the Regular Force`s core (five year medium term) service system.      
The short term solution for the Army is to re-train selected former commandos. The Chief of the SA Army has also ordered an investigation of direct recruiting into the Reserve Force. The option is based on the premise that it is easier to take a trained mechanic and make a soldier out of him, than the other way around.
There are also efforts to build up a student reserve where students at tertiary institutions will receive decentralised training and be commissioned on graduation, a system similar to the US Reserve Officer Training Scheme. 
Anderson adds that current DOD representivity policy requires a 40-60 female-male split. Three out of every five soldier should be black and the remaining two white.