Sisulu concludes First International Defence Policy Review Seminar, Cape Town, 24 – 25 November 2011

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Delegates attending the first international seminar on South African defence policy review agreed that the South African National Defence force must respond to the country’s commitment to the Continent, SADC and the world.  The Minister is hosting the seminar to provide a platform for internal experts, SADC Ministers and other stakeholders to input into the new Defence Policy in South Africa currently being developed.
 

The Seminar agreed that in developing a new defence policy for the SANDF in the 21st century policy makers must ensure that the SANDF clearly identifies its role in the country, in SADC, Africa and the world.  They added that accompanying that understanding of the role must be a new design of the SANDF with resources and infrastructure, both human and machinery to achieve that objective.
 

The Seminar noted that South Africa would continue to play a role in stabilizing the region, facilitating economic development and being a logistics partner during elections and major disasters.  They also noted that the SANDF through its Navy must take a lead in patrolling the SADC waters.
 

The Seminar also received a presentation from Ministers from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique on how they see their relationship with the SANDF and the South African defence industry in the region and Africa.    The Minister expressed that the SADC region must work together in research and military equipment developments. The South African Defence industry represented by AMD was called upon to be lead in the development of military equipments for SADC to facilitate defence and military trade in the region.
 

The Seminar noted that SANDF will continue to work with other defence Forces in the region to patrol the SADC waters, support other law enforcement agencies and to do joint exercises and training.  And the SANDF will have to strengthen its relations with its neighbours for effective border patrol and training and sharing of infrastructure.
 

The Seminar urged the Defence Review Committee led by Mr Roelf Meyer to provide for more cooperation of Defence Forces in the SADC region and joint training and operations. 

The Seminar concluded that there is a need for more funding for the SANDF, more young people to be experts and specialists in the SANDF.
 

The Seminar received presentation from international military experts, ACCORD, Minister’s from SADC, SANDF Generals, Defence Review Committee, the Interim National Defence Force Commission on their view and contribution to the role of the SANDF in the 21st century.
 

The Seminar also agreed that the State must ensure that soldiers serve and commit under the best conditions, from salaries, best accommodation and support to their families.  There must be a reward for committing to die for your country, the Seminar said.
 

The Defence Review Committee is currently finalising the Draft Defence Policy for the SANDF, the last policy review was done in 1997, and in 2011 the policy is no longer relevant to the challenges and the commitment of the SANDF.  Mr Roelf Meyer leads the Committee developing a draft, they have been meeting with different stakeholders in the SANDF, Government, in SADC, Continent and other international partners.
 

The Minister will lead a public consultation process with all stakeholders before the new Policy is submitted to Cabinet and Parliament.
 

Immediately after the meeting, Sisulu will depart for DRC, Congo for a final inspection of the logistics and systems for the elections.
 

Issued by

Ndivhuwo Mabaya



Head of Media Services