South Africa’s Defence Force has become unsustainable and will gradually come to a grinding stop: minister

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has warned that the South African Air Force (SAAF) is facing a cash shortage which may have an impact on its future capabilities.

In a recent parliamentary Q&A session, Mapisa-Nqakula said that engagements between the Department of Defence and National Treasury are taking place to address the general funding challenges facing the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

“Capabilities will gradually come to a grinding stop if both state-owned entities like Denel and the Department of Defence are not adequately resourced to fulfil on their various mandates,” she said.

“The decision to stop flying will be determined by airworthiness and aviation safety considerations. The SAAF has qualified personnel that monitor and certify aircraft airworthiness and safety.”

Funding concerns

Mapisa-Nqakula has previously warned that the current plans to get the SANDF back on track are entirely dependent on its funding.

“The prevention of the SANDF capabilities from declining further is entirely dependent on the budget allocation of the Defence Force, which has been decreasing at an alarming rate over the years with a negative impact of the entire capabilities,” she said.

“The Defence Review 2015 has been developed with a plan to arrest the decline of the SANDF but unfortunately no funding has been received to attend to the declining capabilities of the SANDF.”

Mapisa-Nqakula added that the years-long decline of the SANDF meant that it was becoming increasingly difficult to protect the country.

“The defence has become progressively unsustainable in terms of declining defence allocations and have reached a point where the republic must decide on the kind of Defence Force it wants and can afford,” she said.

In a July briefing, Mapisa-Nqakula said that her department has been forced to continuously adjust its plans downwards in response to the declining budget in recent years.


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South Africa’s Defence Force has become unsustainable and will gradually come to a grinding stop: minister