Defence Minister looking outside National Treasury to fund the SANDF
South Africa’s shrinking defence budget looks set to shrink even further in the coming few years and this has necessitated Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and her senior command structure to think out of the box to keep the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) operational and viable. Addressing the National Assembly this week, she pointed out it was in South Africa’s national interest to have a defence force capable of supporting national security imperatives, foreign policy objectives and the country’s economic interests. Defence has been allocated R47 billion for the current financial year, an amount the Minister maintains is half of what is needed to train, maintain and effectively deploy airmen, military medics, sailors and soldiers. She told MPs the SANDF must have the capacity to defend and safeguard the sovereignty of the Republic, keep and enforce peace outside its borders and have an offensive capability to deter potential aggressors. “In order to do this, the defence force should be sufficiently resourced and skilled to execute operations across the full spectrum of conflict. An inadequately resourced defence force will have a negative impact on operational outputs, including the loss of life. As a country we have come to the point where we must make a critical decision on the future of the defence force.