Mapisa-Nqukula admits military meltdown

2014-04-23 20:36
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is in urgent need of investment to ensure it can meet its international commitments after two decades of budget cuts have left it under-equipped, the defence minister said on Wednesday.

In 1998, it was assumed South Africa would only deploy a single battalion to foreign missions, but by 2006 the country had committed to four to missions across Africa, overstretching its resources.

There is "an urgent need to comprehensively capacitate and equip" the SANDF, which is underfunded and lacks enough working equipment, said Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The force's "shortcomings must be addressed to prevent the steady decline of the SANDF and the potentially disastrous consequences that could follow", she added.

A recent report by a government-appointed panel of experts said the military is in a "critical state of decline" due to chronic underfunding and warned that it may take up to a decade to get it back into shape.

It found that the meltdown has threatened the army's defence capacity at home and its ability to take part in foreign peacekeeping operations.

The army is "finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the deployment of its soldiers in the various peace missions across the continent," said the report, released last month.

Budget cuts

South Africa's once feared and respected defence force has been hit by budget cuts and much of its equipment is no longer fit for purpose.

Defence expenditure stands at around 1.1% of GDP, which Mapisa-Nqakula said is below the 2.0% usually spent by a developing country during peacetime.

Funding problems have been caused by the government prioritising spending on the South Africa's previously neglected poor, particularly in black communities, she said.

"Commitments in Africa far [also] exceeded what was anticipated in the aftermath of the advent of democracy in 1994," the defence minister added.

As one of Africa's military powerhouses, SA has deployed troops to peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sudan's Darfur.

It previously sent troops to Burundi, Lesotho and Central African Republic. Its navy has also recently begun patrolling the waters off neighbouring Mozambique to ward off pirates.

South Africa is also among 10 countries that have said they would contribute to Africa's planned rapid-deployment emergency force, which is being created to swiftly intervene in crises.

"What this means is that South Africa is almost certain to increase its commitment on the continent," said the minister.

SA's increasing commitments justify "that defence expenditure be set slightly above 2% of GDP", argued the minister.

Read more on:    sandf  |  nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  government spending  |  arms deal
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
81 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Most expensive holiday ever?

Fancy taking a year off from work and travelling around the world? All you need is £220 000!

 
 

I love summer.24

The most epic YouTube mashup of 2014
Summer Survey!
Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where you could react and say something and then have to pick up the pieces. Take your time before...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.