Arms deal commission: Frigates for World Cup, Obama

2013-08-26 16:53

Rear Admiral Philip Schoultz finished his testimony at the arms deal commission today.

Here are five things worth knowing about the frigates and submarines which, "critics" say, are docked and underutilised in harbours.

1. The frigates were used when US President Barack Obama visited Robben Island in June. One was placed in Table Bay as a precaution. The navy was called upon by the VIP Protection unit to be on standby in case the Obamas would need to be evacuated promptly.

2. Frigates and submarines were used in safeguarding the 2010 Fifa World Cup by surveying harbours for early detection of dangerous changes in the sea. He explained that tour operators were also briefed if accommodation became a problem so that ships could be turned into "floating hotels" for tourists.

3. Submarine SAS Manthatisi has been in repair in Simonstown since May/June 2012. Such repairs take up to 30 months. But, according to Schoultz, even at this time the submarine is being used as a deterrent, hence fulfilling its purpose.

4. Between 2005 and 2013 the navy trained about 4 042 staff members. The admiral added that it was problematic getting and retaining the skills because very few volunteers undergo technical training. Those who do undergo technical training are very soon poached by the broader economy.

5. After about eight to nine years the navy still has not fully mastered the technology. Even now, it is still in the process of developing a detailed understanding of many of the frigate systems.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.