Share this article:
THE SANDF’s deployment to help police bring stability to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng reinforced calls from MPs to increase army resources.
This emerged when the Standing Joint Committee on Defense considered a report following its visit to the province earlier this month.
Co-Chair Cyril Xaba said the deployment had strained resources and put enormous pressure on the IRS.
“We must take this opportunity to ask for more allocations from the Ministry of Defense in the future.
“It is clear that SANDF’s mandate is growing more and more,” said Xaba.
He also said that they knew that the main mandate of SANDF was to defend the territorial integrity of the country and to work in cooperation and support to other departments.
“We’ve seen this happen a lot.
“This supports the increase in resources allocated to SANDF,” Xaba said.
DA MP Kobus Marais said the deployment presented an opportunity for the need for a larger and much more comprehensive budget.
“Let’s not miss the chance and let’s focus and bring them behind us,” Marais said.
The committee undertook the oversight to review the role and involvement of SANDF and also to review the level of cooperation and determine operational success and challenges during their deployment code named Operation Prosper.
They received briefings from commanders and visited areas affected by violence and looting as well as areas where soldiers were stationed.
In its report adopted on Friday, the committee said it noted the gratitude of local communities and businesses for the deployment of SANDF and the contribution of Operation Prosper to restoring stability to the affected areas.
The report states that the deputies observed that reserve and permanent forces were deployed in the two provinces.
However, the report said MPs expressed significant concern about the condition of SANDF equipment and reiterated the need for suitable equipment for use.
“The member specifically observed the fact that most of the equipment in the SANDF is old and that the troop transport capabilities in the SANDF appear to be under great strain.
“Members expressed serious concerns about the ability of the South African Air Force to support large-scale operations.”
Although the Air Force was commended for the level of support it was able to provide, the committee said it was evident that the constraints of the aircraft have a serious impact on the effective support of the mission. as well as troop and logistics movements.
MEPs welcomed the high levels of cooperation between SANDF and SAPS, as no serious cooperation constraints were reported.
They also praised the high level of discipline of the soldiers during deployment.
The committee said it has taken note of the value of the reserve force and is aware of the various constraints that the reserve force faces, including budgetary constraints and an aging force.
“The committee therefore recommends that the Defense and Veterans Portfolio Committee include in its next Budget Review and Recommendations report a request to the National Treasury for increased funding for the recruitment and deployment of the force’s contingent.” reserve SANDF.
“Additional funds for the deployment of the reserve force should be dedicated specifically to national deployment, such as support to SAPS and increased border protection. “
The committee also indicated that it was concerned about the condition of SANDF equipment and noted that it had been the subject of debate in the Defense Portfolio Committee for some time.
“The negative impact of budget constraints on the condition of SANDF equipment and the resulting operational impact were clearly visible during the last monitoring visit. “
This also applied to the strategic airlift capability of the South African Air Force.
“The current state places the SANDF at a significant disadvantage for national and international deployment,” the committee said, adding that it would request a report on SAAF’s strategic airlift capabilities and potential funding.
The committee said it would ask the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, to schedule an urgent parliamentary debate on the future use, funding and strategic direction of the SANDF.
Deployment of SANDF in KZN and Gauteng requires more resources
SourceDeployment of SANDF in KZN and Gauteng requires more resources