Take part in defence review – Sisulu

2012-04-12 13:30

The current defence policy has become out-dated and irrelevant, creating the need for a new progressive policy, Minister of Defence Lindiwe Sisulu said.

Receiving a draft report from the defence review committee in Pretoria, Sisulu today said yesterday’s event marked the beginning of an intense public consultative phase to get further input.

“The draft is open for comments and proposals and from now on, the committee will be engaging with the broader South African society to draw the best possible consensus on the future defence trajectory.”

“Participation of South Africans will be critical and key stakeholders, including the defence force, partners and communities will be consulted,” she said.

She said the committee was mandated to draft a policy which would be supportive of government priorities, a policy that would be responsive to the country’s developmental requirements.

The previous review, adopted in 1998, was preoccupied with the integration of both the statutory and non-statutory armed forces following the negotiated transition of 1994, said Sisulu.

Chairperson of the independent review committee, Roelf Meyer, said the current review took a new view of the role of the defence force under a new time period.

“We are working from the point of establishing new goals for the national defence force, including tasks flowing from those goals,” he said.

The strategic goals set out in the draft report include safeguarding of South Africa and all citizens through securing borders and prioritising support for the police service.

A number of consultative events have been lined up, starting with the committee’s meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on April 18.

The report would be accessible on the committee’s website and interaction would also take place on social networks – Facebook and Twitter.

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