Implementation of the Defence Review, whether in part or completely, and its objectives is dependent on adequate funding of the Department of Defence (DoD) by government a DRIPT (Defence Review implementation Team) member maintains. Retired brigadier general John Gibbs, who was also a member of Roelf Meyer’s Defence Review Committee, was addressing the recent, delayed, launch of the National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) in Ekurhuleni.
“If there is not adequate and sufficient funding, the defence trajectory as set out in the Defence Review will not be reached and the consequences of that will be the continued decline of defence capabilities to the disadvantage of ordered commitments.”
He called on all SA National Defence Force (SANDF) stakeholders, particularly Parliament, to support calls for additional funding for the South African military machine.
Gibbs acknowledged that current constraints on the economic and financial front were a reality and meant funding would have to be sought from somewhere other than the National Treasury.
“We have to look elsewhere and fund this urgent imperative off balance sheet without incurring additional burdens in borrowing by the state,” he said adding the Department of Defence (DoD) was “considering various options of alternative sources of revenue to supplement the inadequate defence allocation”.
DRIPT, he said, was focussing on 12 issues during the first year of Defence Review implementation, based on milestone one of arresting the decline in SANDF capabilities.
The issues are: implementation of a costed plan for milestone one; sustained and ordered defence commitments; defence capabilities developed and sustained; defence industry engagements established; defence facilities maintained; restructuring of the SANDF in terms of force design and structure; DoD human resource management; establishing a Defence Academy; enhancing military discipline; developing a defence funding model; accrediting DoD education programmes with tertiary institutions and interventions on the strategic communications level.
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