Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Cape Town (AFP) July 23, 2014
Continental military power South Africa committed Wednesday to save its armed forces from meltdown within five years, amid budget constraints and increasing involvement in peacekeeping missions around Africa.
A review earlier this year found the South African Defence Force (SANDF) was in a "critical state of decline" after two decades of underfunding.
"We do not have a choice, but to respond with urgency to put plans to arrest the decline within the current five years, starting immediately during this financial year," said Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Wednesday.
"Although the SANDF is still able to maintain operational presence, if we do not start now, the decline will get worse," she told parliament in her budget speech.
The ministry projects a $4 billion (3 billion euro) budget for the year, or 1.3 percent of the 2013 GDP -- far below the 2.0 percent of GDP the minister said in April would be necessary to fix the military.
"Our mandate in the next five years is to act fast to restore the minimum capabilities required to safeguard South Africa, protect its maritime resources and trade routes, conduct peace missions and humanitarian interventions," said Mapisa-Nqakula.
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. The 100,000-strong force is also bleeding skilled personnel.
As one of Africa's military powerhouses, South Africa has deployed troops to peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan's Darfur.
It previously sent troops to Burundi, Lesotho and the Central African Republic. Its navy has also recently begun patrolling the coast of neighbouring Mozambique to ward off pirates.
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|