The comment of the minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, after the report of the Defence Review Committee on the National Defence Force found that the Defence Force has serious shortcomings and cannot fulfil its mandate, is not a surprise for FF Plus.
“The FF Plus has for the past ten years been warning that the Defence Force’s budget is insufficient and that the government should decide whether they want a Defence Force at all as the lack of funds has led to us having a rag-tag Defence Force,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on Defence said.
“It is actually surprising that the government now suddenly after ten years realise the importance of a defence force. They inherited a proud and professional Defence Force in 1994 and due to cadre deployment, a lack of funds and the destruction of the commando system they have reduced the Defence Force to a border patrol unit.
“The government is now expecting the Defence Force to play a larger regional role in Africa, but is not prepared to provide the finances for it. If the government is still serious to want an effective and professional Defence Force, it should budget a minimum of 2% of the GDP for the Defence Force, it should stop cadre deployment and affirmative action and ensure that proper discipline is applied so that the National Defence Force can fulfil its constitutional task,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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