Tight defense budget won’t affect deployments – CSANDF

South African National Defense Force (SANDF) General Staff Officer and Force Chief agree deployments will continue – externally and internally – despite another budget tight announced last week.

During her speech on the budget vote in the National Assembly, Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Thandi Modise asked parliamentarians to approve R49.09 billion for the SANDF and other entities residing in her wallet. This, a recent presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defense and Military Veterans (PCDMV) heard, is an underfunding of R26 billion.

Speaking during a SANDF Human Resources Division briefing last week, Vice Admiral Asiel Kubu referenced Modise’s budget vote speech saying it was “clear” that the amount allocated was “not sufficient to carry out the mandate (of the national defense force)”.

According to a Lt. Msibi of Human Resource Corporate Communication, the senior human resources officer said the Department of Defense (DoD) faced “constraints” but that these would not affect operational deployments.

“The deployment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique will continue on a larger scale. Our borders will also be guarded,” he said during the Human Resources Division reporting period at the Pretoria Military Sports Club.

His view was echoed by SANDF General-in-Chief Rudzani Maphwanya. Speaking at the South African Army’s De Brug Mobilization Center on Sunday at a commemorative event for South African peacekeepers, the SABC told him that the contribution of South Africa and the SANDF in peacekeeping missions is “essential”. This despite the fact that “resources are not sufficient”.

The government broadcaster further reports that the SANDF continues to “enforce peace” in northern Mozambique where “conflict persists and threatens the stability of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region”.

“Peace in Mozambique will also benefit the region. When we contain the problem there so that it does not permeate and disturb you. People will go about their daily business, but if we sit down, this issue will affect us,” reported SABC editor Aphumelele Mdlalane.

Support for Maphwanya came from Deputy Defense and Veterans Affairs Minister Thabang Makwetla. Still to De Brug, he is said to have declared: “The success of our engagement in Mozambique will not only be military. Our deployment is peace enforcement and we want military intervention to bring stability.”

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