Government’s decision to reprioritise funds has led to an under-equipped, direly constrained army: SANDU

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The national secretary for the South African National Defense Unions (SANDU), Advocate Pikkie Greeff says the government’s decision to reprioritise South African National Defense Force (SANDF) funds is part of the reason the country’s military is under-equipped and in a dire financial situation.

South Africa’s military may not be in a position to deploy troops to tackle several unrests in the country due to lack of budget, according to leaked information. The data further reveals that the army can’t afford parts and petrol for vehicles.

Greeff says several SANDF bases are in dire straits with a fleet of aircrafts in desperate need of repair.

“The defense review of 2015 was aimed at arresting the decline of resources even at that time already. Now, we are decades down the line, nothing was done about that. In this current financial year, there would be a full force component of 90 000 servicemen, but at this stage, it’s only 65 000 service members. So, that is well understaffed what’s needed for the budget this year is R143 billion but the budget is at R4 billion, so that’s a substantial shortfall.

“This is a result of the government’s filing to follow the recommendation of 2015 defense review and only continually cutting the defense budget takes the money elsewhere. And this resulted in the defense force being depleted of equipment,” explains Greeff.