SA anti-piracy strategy presented to Cabinet

2011-04-21 10:54

Cabinet has approved that the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) fine-tune its strategy to protect South African waters from piracy, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said today.

“South Africa needs to have a balanced naval capability to effectively respond to maritime security threats affecting South Africa,” he told a media briefing following Cabinet’s regular Wednesday meeting.

“Cabinet noted the incursion of maritime crime into our waters, which might affect our trade routes through the seas,” he said.

SA Navy chief vice-admiral Johannes Mudimu told the briefing piracy was of great concern “to all of us in Southern African Development Community (SADC) waters”, particularly after the pirate attack on a vessel off Mozambique in December.

The idea of the maritime strategy was to determine the measures and activities necessary to confront this issue as SADC. It would also look into areas of communications with those that were already involved in the arena, primarily off the Somali coast.

“So the strategy really is confronting this issue and saying what collective effort we need to put together to address this particular issue.

“We are engaged with a number of state agencies because we note that the issue of piracy is not an issue that affects the military alone. It includes other state departments and I think this was reflected in Cabinet yesterday and there is general consensus in terms of an approach that we need to adopt in addressing the issue of piracy off the coast of the SADC,” Mudimu said.

Manyi confirmed that the strategy was presented to Cabinet on Wednesday, but declined to provide details, as this would “put the pirates one step ahead of us”. 

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