SANDF is in desperate need of restructuring – Jacques Julius

DA MP says we need to re-prioritize spending on the army

The SANDF is in desperate need of restructuring

9 April 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) gathered today to picket outside the offices of the Department of Defence to remind the public and the department of the urgent need to address the under-resourcing of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) immediately.

Despite the Defence Review and the National Treasury’s warnings, the Department of Defence has failed to implement a desperately needed restructuring of the army. The ANC has ignored the dire warning of SANDF General Solly Shoke, about the inability of the army to exercise control of our borders, without either the manpower or the equipment.

The SANDF is a critical player in our national effort to curb illegal immigration and cross-border crime. We can no longer allow the Department to sit on their hands when the interventions necessary to fix our army are well-documented.

We need to re-prioritize the spending on the army. We should have a cost structure of 40% on Human Resources (HR), 30% on Operations & 30% on equipment. Currently, we are allocating a shocking 59% on HR, leaving far too little for the conduct of operations and the maintenance of our equipment.

This is unsustainable. With a 59% spending on HR, we still are unable to deploy the full complement of 22 units needed to ensure that our borders are secure. We are not receiving the value we need for the money we are spending. South Africans are being dealt a bad hand. We must work with National Treasury to craft an exit mechanism for excess staff.

The Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is known for having one of the most expensive personal offices of any cabinet member and is far too comfortable in her oversized office. She is out of touch with the realities in our army and on our borders. If she knows the severity of the situation, then she has by her conduct, sent a clear message to our citizens - she does not care.

The DA cares and the DA has a plan to turn this situation around. We have no hope of stopping illegal immigration without a well-resourced SANDF.

We know what has to be done. On 8 May, South Africans will have the option to choose the DA difference because the DA has proven time and again, where we govern, we get things done. It is about time that we start doing the hard work of keeping all the people in this country secure, while building one South Africa for all.

Issued by Jacques Julius, DA Team One SA Spokesperson on Immigration, 9 April 2019