SDP to cost R47.225bn

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The final estimated cost of the 1999 Strategic Defence Package (SDP) that saw South Africa acquire 50 fighter aircraft, 30 helicopters, four frigates and three submarines, is R47.225 billion.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu says the total cost of the SDP at October 14 last year was R42 362 053 814 “and the projected cost for the finalisation of the programme is R47 225 627 631. This compares with the R47 401 billion in the National Treasury’s February 2008 Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) and R47 483 billion in the 2007 ENE. The 2008 ENE figure was the last publicly available figure until the release of the new figures today.

Sisulu did not mention the 2007 or 2008 figures or expand on the reason for the fluctuations. Treasury ascribed the 2007-8 variance to the strengthening Rand. It is likely the latest figure reflects the same trend.



In response to a question by Freedom Front Plus Member of Parliament Pieter Groenewald, Sisulu added that in terms of expenditure, “approximately 90% of the acquisitions of the SDP have been finalised.” The remaining 10% as at October 14 are the following:

  • Meko 200SAN frigates: Final sea acceptance of a sub-segment of the combat suite.
  • Type 209 submarines: 20% of the associated logistic support still to be delivered.
  • Agusta light utility helicopters: 4% of the final associated logistic support including the implementation of a few minor engineering changes.
  • SAAB Gripen advanced fighter aircraft: 11 single seat aircraft and 10% of the logistic support.
  • BAE Systems Hawk lead-in fighter-trainers: 3% of the final associated logistic support including the implementations of some minor engineering changes.