The continuing dynamics of the security environment at national, regional and international level have brought about a change of both name and content in the premier programme presented at the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) College.
What was previously the Executive National Security Programme (ENSP) has evolved into the Security and Defence Studies Programme (SDSP) with the first course in full swing at the Thaba Tshwane military leaning institution.
Speaking at the official launch of the SDSP, Lieutenant General Norman Yengeni, SANDF Human Resources Chief, said the new programme will “fully capacitate” senior officers and government officials in the broad security spectrum. Unlike the ENSP, the SDSP is an accredited programme with the attendant benefits to those who successful complete it.
This year the Defence College marks its 43rd anniversary. From 1973 to 1999 it was home to the Joint Staff Course and following approval of the 1998 Defence Review the ENSP was developed and first offered in January 2000.
All told, 30 ENSP programmes were presented with the final one, ENSP 30/2014, running from July to December last year.
The new programme is as national security focussed as its predecessor was and it integrates academic content with experience learning. Although the first SDSP is populated only by Department of Defence personnel future programmes will be open to senior officials from other government departments.
The ENSP programmes were confined to national security theory, Africa and international studies, South African studies, a Commandant’s research paper and a strategic exercise.
The replacement SDSP has nine modules, presented over a longer timeframe than the ENSP. The modules are national security and strategy in the contemporary world; international conflict management and peace missions; conflict in Africa since the 1960s; South Africa national strategic neighbourhood’ the impact of global trends on African security’ strategic management studies; research methodology’ Master of Philosophy research report and a strategic exercise.
At 47 weeks duration, the SDSP is more than double the 21 weeks of the ENSP.