SANDF decline no surprise


Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s comments as regards the shortcomings of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) are “no surprise”.

This is the view of FF+ defence spokesman, Pieter Groenewald, who points out he has for the past 10 years been warning the defence budget is insufficient.
“I have also repeatedly asked government to decide if its wants a defence force at all as the lack of funding has created what can only be called ‘a rag tag outfit’.
“Government inherited a proud and professional defence force in 1994. Cadre deployments, a lack of funding and the destruction of the commando system all contributed to reducing the SANDF to more or less being a border patrol unit as far as internal deployments are concerned.
“It appears government now wants the SANDF to play an even larger regional role but it is not prepared to provide the financial wherewithal. If government wants and effective and professional defence force it should budget for a minimum of two percent of GDP for defence.
“Cadre deployment should be stopped along with affirmative action and proper discipline returned to the SANDF if it is to fulfil its Constitutionally set task,” he said in response to Mapisa-Nqakula’s comments when she unpacked the Defence Review in Pretoria this week.

She said more funding was a must for the SANDF if it was to do its work properly in South Africa, the southern African region as well as continentally as a tool of government foreign policy.