R240 billion for security cluster allocated in 2024 defence budget

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More than R750 billion has been allocated to the security cluster over the next three years to up the ante in Government’s fight against crime and to support the defence force. This was revealed during Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s Budget Speech delivered in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“The peace and security function receives funding over the medium term for safety and security to ensure territorial integrity and for the criminal justice system. It is allocated R240.6 billion in 2024/25, R251.4 billion in 2025/26 and R262.9 billion in 2026/27. The net increase in the function’s baseline is R12.3 billion (1.7 per cent) over the MTEF period, from R742.6 billion to R754.9 billion,” the 2024 budget document read.

This allocation covers the Departments of Correctional Services, Defence, Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development, Military Veterans, Police, and Office of the Chief Justice.

“In the coming financial year, 10 000 new police recruits will be trained. As part of the country’s responsibility to promote regional peace and stability, this budget will also allocate funding for the deployment of soldiers in Mozambique and the DRC.

“Work on costing and identifying the needs for these critical missions will continue throughout the year and funding will be allocated as such.

“R628 million has been allocated to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development [DJCOD] for the implementation of FATF [Financial Action Task Force] and State Capture Commission recommendations – bringing the total funding to these efforts to R2.3 billion,” he said.

Godongwana added that some R2.9 billion from the Criminal Asset Recovery Account is being used to combat illegal mining and other priority crimes “with 60% allocated for police deployments, including vehicle procurement”.

In the 2024 Budget Review, National Treasury explained that the total allocation includes “additional allocations of R39.4 billion to selected departments to cover the carry‐through costs of the 2023/24 public‐service wage increase”.

“Of this, R22 billion is allocated to the Department of Police. To improve efficiency, the department will rationalise its organisational structure, align police districts with municipal districts, implement cost containment measures and improve operations. It is also fostering strategic partnerships with local communities to enhance safety.

“The [DJCOD] is allocated R627.8 million over the medium term to implement recommendations from the [FATF] and the State Capture Commission. For land rights representation, R156 million is shifted from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to Legal Aid South Africa.

“The Department of Defence will prioritise acquiring vehicles and technology to safeguard the country’s borders. An amount of R1.9 billion is reallocated within the Department of Defence for day‐to‐day maintenance and emergency repairs.

“Measures are being implemented to reduce the pressure on employee compensation and sustain critical defence capabilities,” the department said.