Bad impact of SANDF employee reduction

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: Gallo Images.

THERE will be serious consequences for the country if an exit of defence force employees is done without a proper plan to redirect some of these soldiers to other departments or functions.

In fact, according to Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, “the directive for the reduction of the Department of Defence human resources budget will have serious implications for the South African National Defence Force in the light of its already grossly reduced budget baseline”.

The SANDF, she said in a written reply to a parliamentary question, would be unable to implement targets for reduction of its budget for compensation of employees, as this will require the exiting of large numbers of soldiers.

“This will have serious consequences for the country if such an exit is done without a proper plan to redirect some of these members to other state departments or functions. Even in the case of such an exit, the SANDF will need to further employ new members in order to rejuvenate the force. Additional funding will also be required to exit members.”

The Department of Defence, Mapisa Nqakula said, has engaged the national Treasury about its concerns. A joint budget task team has been formed. The first joint report of the team is being finalised for the ministers of defence and finance.

Mapisa-Nqakula gave this reply on the implications of rationalisation in reply to a written question from DA MP Sarel Marais who had asked here whether she has “put any plans in place to ensure that her department’s expenditure on human resources is decreased from 60% to 40% and reprioritise her department’s budget according to basic constitutional mandates over the 2017-18 to 2019-20 medium-term expenditure framework”.

She said in response to another question, this time from ANC MP Dennis Gamede about South African soldiers stationed in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that the SANDF has deployed a battalion as part of a Force Intervention Brigade that also includes Tanzania and Malawi.