Persistent deficit in Defence Force budget reduces it to a border guard

Dr Pieter Groenewald

Years of insufficient budgeting for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has just about reduced it to a border guard which is only good enough to do patrols,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on defence and military veterans said.

Dr. Groenewald said in the budget debate of the department today in parliament that there is agreement in Parliament every year that the budget is insufficient but nothing is done about it.

“The one good thing that has come from the Defence Review was to determine that we need 2,4% of the GDP to do our work. This is the reality. The ANC government does not have the political will to make funds available for the national defence force.

“After so many years we are still where we were previously. We are busy downgrading the defence force to something like a border patrol which can only undertake patrols. This is what we are busy with. It is clear that the ANC government does not have the political will to adjust the budget.

“About discipline I can only say that if the defence force’s top generals, the chief of the defence force, the chief of the air force and the secretary of defence merely ignore a court order and is contemptuous of the court’s ruling, how can you expect the people on at grass roots to have discipline?

“A part of the tasks of the defence force is to protect our sovereignty, the Constitution. We have the rule of law where law and order is in force, but the generals are ignoring this law and order. It is scandalous.

“If they say they were not aware of the court order, I want to know what is happening in the department. It is a poor excuse.

“What has happened to the air force colonel with the pink slippers? There is a former member in front of me who was charged and found guilty of misconduct in the national defence force. She was moved side-ways and today she wants to come here to tell us what is happening in the defence force.

“There is no discipline, because there isn’t any proper accountability. If you want discipline, senior officers should set the example,” Dr, Groenewald said.


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