SANDF plans to retrench 3 000 - union

2012-12-05 14:39

Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has secret plans to retrench at least 3 000 staff by the end of 2015, the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) claimed on Wednesday.

Sandu national secretary Pikkie Greeff said in a statement that the SANDF would start retrenchments next year.

"It has been reported to Sandu that National Treasury has instructed the department of defence to enforce drastic expenditure cuts over the next three years...," he said.

According to present defence planning, this would be achieved by cutting the jobs of thousands of soldiers, said Greeff.

Sandu claimed one percent of SANDF staff would be retrenched next year, two percent in 2014, and three percent the following year.

"Sandu is perturbed by the fact that these measures are being shielded from public scrutiny and kept from the very soldiers who are all, collectively, potential victims of such mass retrenchments," Greeff said.

The union demanded that the plans be revealed to the soldiers and that their labour rights be respected.

Greeff expressed concern that perceived secrecy could "undermine morale and create fertile breeding ground for dissent and instability".

The union was also concerned that the SANDF would be unable to meet its domestic and foreign commitments if it proceeded with job cuts.

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said he was unaware of the claims and would comment later in the day.

  • moriri.mosweu - 2012-12-05 14:44


      gavin.knox.56 - 2012-12-05 14:52

      Na! they will still vote ANC because if not their pensions will be withheld.

      kalabafazi - 2012-12-05 15:58

      They clearly can afford to get rid of 3 000. There was areport last week that realted how "soldiers" had left their posts and were not doing any work at all. If its true then the SANDF needs to be rid of this dead wood. One wonders though how many other defence forces around the world have unions.

      albert.m.burger - 2012-12-05 16:32

      Just fire the first 3000 that leave work early on the 15th or caught asleep

      daniel.jacobs.3766 - 2012-12-05 18:06

      Only spears and swords left to defend our country like the badge depicts!

      tert.lepa - 2012-12-06 07:06

      What SANDF? Its a joke man. South-Africa use to have agreat national force. Now its only the clowns at play. Take you a bet Lesotho will toy with your stupid SANDF.

      mondli.harmony - 2012-12-06 09:55

      I smell the fire as I see the light here gorvememn think again nt unless u wants RABELS in south africa

  • sheamus.drager - 2012-12-05 15:08

    A couple of problems here. Firstly, it's the SANDF, not a company. Therefore there should not be a union to begin with. The union is only conserned with memebership loss, not the functions or responsability of the SANDF. Secondly, the SANDF is already failing. The should restructure, chuck out the rubbish and save on wage costs. This would leave more budget for them to achieve their responsibilty to the country. Thirdly, reducing your "workforce" does not have to be done by retrenchment. Over a 3 year period it can done by death, resignation and retirement. Typical union jumping up and down for no reason, when there numbers are reduced. Lastly, and most importantly. You become a soldier, police officer, teacher, nurse etc. not because it is a job, but because it is a calling. It is an urge to serve your country or community that leads you to these "professions"(in commas because most don't see them as a profession). If you want a paycheck, go into politics.

      piet.pompies.104 - 2012-12-10 13:45

      I think that there are very few people left In the defense force that has a need to serve. They join the organisation so that they might CONTROL and be IN CHARGE. The main ambition is not to serve the country but to serve the self. With a force consisting of self serving members all stabbing backs for higher posts, retrenchments are to be expected. Personally I think it is an excuse to get all the really "qualified" soldiers(soldiers that joined to serve the people) out of service so that you are left with a force of zombies that can be coerced to do anything... like ethnically cleanse the burbs.

  • jaco.bruwer.73 - 2012-12-05 15:09

    How many solderers would have been paid with 250 million rand. If tax payers money is better handled these solderers would still have there jobs at 2015. The government will have to explain to there families why there wound be any food on the table.

      jaco.bruwer.73 - 2012-12-05 15:11

      No Food Because the money is going for Zuma's house.

  • malungisa.samuel - 2012-12-05 15:16

    Ja lets C and tell me zuma is still fine SA people we are going to be like somalia if not the rate of crime will be too high cause they gonna add more crime cause they are out of job secondly others they are deep in accounts

  • jesomerville - 2012-12-05 15:18

    Only in SA would the defence force have a union - amazing - if anyone should have no right to a union then its military personnel - 3000 isnt enough - retrench the whole pathetic force

      fussed.anderson - 2012-12-05 15:31

      It is the lot

      Colin Brown - 2012-12-05 16:20

      i wish u all will rather respect us soldiers that are prepared to put our lives on the line for this country see how good u are and try and do that. try and offer your family time to go to goma and other counties, to help africa, but then again i don't think u will. understand why we work for so little money but we are prepared to give out life for this country. it is a pity u only see the bad things of the defense force. i love this country and i serve this country, what ever this country asks i will do it with pride.

      rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-12-05 22:45

      Colin, SANDF has no pride, no discipline, no direction and no leadership. Most of the soldiers are former MK members. As far as I know, it's the only army and I use that term very lightly, in the world that has a union. It seems the logical thing to do, the entire military is suffering from a lack of funds and incompetence, ships that are in drydock, planes that can't fly due to lack of funding, vehicles that are no longer roadworthy, hospitals that don't have sufficient staff, the list is endless. If a country can't support the troops logistically, then mass cuts are the only thing available. It is totally pointless having troops you can do nothing with, especially when they are as undisciplined, lazy and poorly trained as the majority are. Unfortunately for you and others who take pride in the uniform, the public paint you with the same brush in the same way they paint the police force. Having done more than my 2 years in the SADF (a proper defense force), I cannot bring myself to feel sympathy for this current crowd. God help you and your proud mates if this country does ever go to war.Poorly maintained equipment, no air support, no naval support, no road support, no medical support, that's not a war, it's a defeat waiting to happen.

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-12-05 15:21

    The SECRET

  • wesselo1 - 2012-12-05 15:26

    Must have gotten confused, thought Zuma said the ANC would CREATE 5 million jobs, not the other way around.

  • hendrik.schutte.3152 - 2012-12-05 15:31

    I am rather surprised that it is ONLY 3,000 I thought there were far more useless lame ducks that were "incorporated" years ago, who are not worth a dime as a soldier. E.g. Soldiers don't run rampant and "go on strike".

  • nhlapop - 2012-12-05 15:38

    I hear i fear.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-12-05 15:48

    so much money was spent on the arms deal that we can no longer afford soldiers.. but then I'm not sure what our soldiers actually do these days, probably the same as the members of parliament - sleep late, drink some beer, sleep some more, eat some food..

      guy.snelling.3 - 2012-12-05 16:54

      There's a pattern here - so much was spent on buying Grippen fighters that the Air Force can't afford the fuel , the maintenance nor have the pilots to fly them. Sing with me "26 White elephants, sitting on the tarmac"

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-12-05 15:55

    what is it exactly that they do again and please start with all the fatcat generals,there are way too much of them

  • sisie.indola - 2012-12-05 16:02

    Oh cr*p another riot on the way. Hopefully they can't read so we can have a peaceful Christmas, oh wait they all want to go home for the holidays - okay so they will riot in January.

  • Thabang Mallela - 2012-12-05 16:02

    3000 is a bit too much, come on

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-12-05 16:09

    Our ANC Goverment is always 'promising' jobs just before an election, perhaps that is why they have tried to keep this under wraps!

  • shaun.miekle - 2012-12-05 16:38

    "Fire" the whole SANDF

  • freddy.vanwijk - 2012-12-05 16:45

    According to a afrikaans morning paper 5.12.2012, 10000 personnel in 3 years. In one part of the article it says that a general costs about R850k which I understand to be per annum. The top structure should and must be reviewed first. The reason for the unions "jumping up and down" is this and that is that inspite of mechanisims being put in place, answers from the top structure are dead slow or non-existant but vise versa, the members must reply "faster than light".

      kearabetswe.matome - 2012-12-06 01:14

      Completely agree Freddy. The organization is top heavy. That said, the average age of a front line soldier(think corporal) in SA is around 33 while the rest of the world is early 20s(think 23. Source:defenceweb). Without sounding inconsiderate, we also need to get the right figures and the right persons in the right place.

  • Simphiwe Spijo Nxumalo - 2012-12-05 17:01

    as a former soldier I feel sori for my former colleagues especially those whose contracts r expiring soon

  • amanda.matthews.14811 - 2012-12-05 20:34

    LOL only in S.A. can a Defence Force have a Union! Maybe it is because of their Union that they are going to become defunct. Forget Foreign commitments anyway, where is the Army when we need their input within our own borders. Maybe a election time only???

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-12-06 07:22

    Unions do not belong in the defence Force or Police Force. They know nothing about warfare and security services. They are the reason for the ill-discipline which exists!

      chris.els.7 - 2012-12-06 17:49

      Stem nie met jou saam nie. Die Unie hou teminste almal op hul tone. As jy in die weermag is, sal jy verstaan.

  • - 2012-12-07 06:13

    Neh, this has gone too far. What happened to Secret Services in the Defence force? I understand that the media in SA is somehow allowed to turn our government into a random commedy show but judging from the way the DOD is subjected to public scrutiny this days, then I suggest that they fire the entire INT as they seem not to be doing their job which is restricting info within the system.

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