The SA Army at work as per the DoD annual report


The SA Army is the single largest component and the landward force of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

As such it finds itself working locally and continentally providing what the latest Department of Defence (DoD) annual report calls “prepared and supported landward defence capabilities for the defence and protection of the Republic of South Africa”.

Externally, this was in the form of materiel and personnel support to the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in accordance with Operation Mistral. This is currently the only continental peace support deployment the SANDF is committed with the report noting “the SA Army continued to forge military relationships with foreign militaries and other government departments”.

Military training activities, international visits and goodwill interactions enhanced defence diplomacy and mutual military co-operation promoted the images of the SA Army and the SANDF according to the report.

The landward force, including SA Army Reserves, was the backbone of the continued border protection tasking Operation Corona. At the end of the previous financial year the number of what the report terms “sub-units” (companies) was raised from 13 to 15 and this number remained the same for the 2017/18 financial year.

Other activities SA Army formations contributed to and were involved in during the year under review included repair and/or construction of bridges in collaboration with the National Department of Public Works. This work was undertaken by the Engineer Formation and was delivered as part of overall SANDF support to Operation Chariot, the national disaster relief and humanitarian assistance tasking.

Phumula, a combat readiness exercise for internal deployments formed part of Exercise Ndlovu, with the intention of exercising the Joint Task Force HQ and other SANDF services, including the air force, military health and navy, to evaluate operational readiness ahead of next year’s national elections.

The Army’s contribution to the national requirement of creating a skilled and capable workforce was in the form of two initiatives.

One was training of 1 731 youth leadership development learners. It focussed on character building and included drill, physical training, leadership exercises and neatness inspections. Rations, training facilities, accommodation, control personnel, instructors and support staff were provided by the SA Army. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform provided funding

As per the service level agreement (SLA) the report noted.

The second saw training provided for a thousand young people attending Department of Social Development youth camps during the year under review. Eight hundred and 57 young people reported at 3 SA Infantry Battalion in Kimberley with a further 200 doing training at the Army Support Base in Bloemfontein and the final 171 doing their training at 4 Artillery Regiment in Potchefstroom. Funding was the responsibility of the Department of Social Development.