SANDF: Defeated by toxicity and arrogance


SANDF: Defeated by toxicity and arrogance

The SANDF is in a crisis of funding, purpose and leadership, argues DARREN OLIVIER. It’s time to have a proper defence review, with wide civil society involvement and the promise of firm commitments from government and National Treasury in particular, if we are to have any hope of preventing a disastrous and very costly outcome.

SOUTH AFRICA’s armed forces are in their worst crisis in decades, driven to the brink of a disastrous loss of strategic capabilities by a fateful combination of an ever-shrinking budget, poor leadership, and a dire mismatch between the missions they are required to perform and the resources they are given to do so.

Without an urgent intervention in the next few years we risk the unmanaged loss of several strategic capabilities in ways that will make it difficult, if not impossible, to resurrect them in the near to medium-term future. At best, the SANDF will become largely undeployable, with the personnel component of the budget swallowing up all operational, training, and acquisition funds.

This is over and above the looming disaster that is the potential collapse of Denel ( and much of the other South African defence industry, which will dramatically increase the SANDF’s costs by requiring it to import and outsource more from foreign providers and rob the country of substantial skills and export revenue...

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