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SA: Lekota: Department of Defence Budget Vote 2008/9 (27/05/2008)

27th May 2008

By: Site Administrator
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Date: 27/05/2008
Source: Department of Defence
Title: SA: Lekota: Department of Defence budget vote

Address by Minister of Defence Honourable MGP Lekota on the occasion of the Defence Budget Vote National Assembly, Cape Town

Madam Chair. It gives me great pleasure to announce today the findings of the Defence Update which maps out the direction defence will be taking over the next 30 years.

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The issues that informed the 1996 White Paper on Defence and subsequently the 1998 Defence Review, centred around the transition to democracy and the resultant transformation of the Department of Defence (DOD).

The period leading to democratisation was characterised by an offensive defence posture focussed on subduing sections of the population, and countries of our region, as well as the acquisition of such capabilities as nuclear and biological weapons.

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Since democratisation, we adopted a defensive defence posture that is concentrating largely on capacity to ward off any possible threats. Fourteen (14) years into democracy, our conditions have further changed and our conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post conflict reconstruction commitments impose further adjustments.

The adoption of a defensive defence posture has meant a full review of our support activities right down to the content of the training of our soldiers. Members of the National Defence Force need to be equipped with skills which give them versatility in peacekeeping operations. Skills which once, back, they can also take into society, contributing to growth and development. In addition the advancement of our African agenda has been a lodestar in the complex transformation of the Department of Defence.

The 1996 White Paper on defence and the 1998 Defence Review advocate the importance of civil-military relations, military professionalism, transparency, efficiency, effectiveness and economy in all Defence activities. The above principles continue unchanged into the second decade of South Africa's freedom and are now to a large extent encapsulated in domestic law and regulation.

The funding of a defence capability commensurate with functional realities and constitutional imperatives constitutes a major challenge to government and the Department of Defence, especially given that differences exist in terms of focus and priority

The South African Defence Force (SANDF) must have the ability to provide military forces with the full spectrum of support during peace and war. The demands of sustaining and maintaining forces over long distances in remote and underdeveloped locations, for example during peace missions, are a particular challenge. Such capabilities may differ substantially from what is required to support operations in defence of South Africa or in support of the people of South Africa.

However, the SANDF should only be employed within the means that government can afford. Compliance with this principle is only possible if selective engagement in deployment is achieved through a process of consultation between the Minister of Defence, Cabinet and the President.

Since our first democratic elections in April 1994, South Africa's strategic environment has changed dramatically. We have seen, in this period, movement away from cold war thinking, globalisation and American hegemony take centre stage.

Presently, the danger of the shortage of resources threatens stability in the world, particularly the developing world. South Africa's approach to security derives from these realities. I remind the House of the main tenets of our present approach to security.

The South African notion of national security is premised on our commitment to multilateralism and effective functions of multilateral institutions. These alliances have produced ground breaking agreements like the Common African Defence and Security Policy, and the South African Development Community (SADC) Mutual Defence Pact; which in turn influence the common understanding we must have regionally in setting up the SADC Brigade and continentally by participating in the Africa Standby Force.

We have broadened the concept of human security to include political, economic, social and environmental matters. We aspire to operate on the basis of collective security. This is the collaboration among states in the defence and protection of an existing security order from mutually recognised threats

National security is viewed as an all-encompassing condition, which includes the safeguarding of South Africa and its people against a wide range of threats, many of which are non-military in nature. Since many of these sources of insecurity transcend state borders, collective action must be undertaken within multilateral organisations to provide adequate responses and lasting solutions

We have an integrated approach to security sector reform (SSR) with particular focus on post-conflict reconstruction especially in the areas of SSR and the successful integration of the armed forces. We understand that development and growth depend on peace and security

We have noted the increasing privatisation of warfare and that "mercenary activity" is a manifestation of unregulated foreign military assistance and has the potential to undermine legitimate constitutional democracies. Climate change now has to be factored into our planning since disaster management is one of our responsibilities deriving from our constitutional mandate.

Defence Diplomacy is a very important area of our work since it ensures peaceful co-functioning. We now have defence attaches in 32 countries and we are accredited to 52 countries. Maritime security, entailing the protection of trade and maritime resources including fisheries, seabed minerals and energy resources, has to be allocated resources.

The complex issue of crime must be discussed and understood in our different defence forums. Whilst the South African Police Service (SAPS) are responsible for this work, we may be called in at any time to support, and therefore we must be ready to do so. Let me say at this point however, that the SANDF has a range of capabilities to support all government departments in South Africa and not just the police.

Last but not least, the growing utilisation of the SANDF in peacekeeping has compelled a review of the distinction between primary and secondary functions. The above indicates the changed situation we find ourselves in since the 1998 Defence Review. We have to align accordingly.

Although the 1996 White Paper on Defence states that the primary function of the SANDF is the defence of South Africa against external military aggression and all other functions are secondary, both primary and secondary functions are of equal importance. The SANDF will accordingly execute its mandate (as provided for by the constitution) and all missions as ordered by government through its conventional capability.

However, responding to the changing strategic environment, the SANDF has increasingly been undertaking functions aimed at addressing conflict and stability on the continent, rather than being solely preoccupied with deterring or preventing an external military threat. When charting a new Force Design therefore, a number of assumptions had to be made.

Firstly, that long term planning for SANDF's conventional capacity will determine the force design and capabilities; secondly, that prime mission equipment will be acquired to equip for the "defence and protection of the Republic" and will be used in the execution of all other missions and tasks; and thirdly, in the short and medium term, mission specific tasks that require specific equipment will be sourced from the operational budget for each specific mission.

When we refer to strategic level defence missions, these include:
* conventional missions e.g. the repelling of a conventional military threat and military search and rescue
* non-conventional missions (repelling of a non conventional threat)
* unconventional missions (repelling of an unconventional threat)
* peace support operations ( military observers, military liaison officers, humanitarian interventions, peacekeeping and peace enforcement)
* special operations (deep level reconnaissance )
* defence diplomacy missions (military assistance missions, training and technical support, peace making and peace building)
* missions in support of govt (support to all Government departments, maritime support, support to diplomatic interventions and maintenance of essential services in times of crisis.)
* disaster relief and humanitarian support missions
* health support missions (presidential health support and support to national health projects)
* special presidential tasks.

Let me say that the inter-relationship between self-defence and of promoting security, especially in southern Africa, has become critically important to the strategic direction and functions of the SANDF.

The Department of Defence has thus adopted the "core growth- one force" strategy. This concept has been retained as a fundamental design drier to establish a defence nucleus to maintain the required defence capabilities of the Republic.

It is based on the assumption that the Force Design will be sufficiently capacitated and credible to provide a deterrent appropriate to the South African posture and doctrine.

The Force design will provide a core nucleus of capabilities that can be expanded upon and developed should the need arise. This implies the need to ensure that all the necessary building blocks, such as doctrine, technology and training capabilities are retained at an appropriate level to provide the backbone to future growth as and when required by government.

Lastly, and importantly, this concept gives equal prominence to the role of the Regulars and Reserves.

What are the key elements of a credible force design?
They are:
* being able to conduct efficient and effective operations
* being able to command forces through structured and effective command and control equipment
* being in position of adequate ammunition and other resources
* having significant reserves to augment the regulars
* being able to conduct regular and effective force preparation
* being able to field flexible and balanced forces
* being able to support and sustain forces deployed

What does this mean in practical terms? How must we prepare our forces for any eventuality?

We are now structured to meet this requirement. We have adopted the doctrine of command and control of joint forces. This means we have combined force employment.

In terms of landward defence, and in the context of our defence objectives, the mandate to defend and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of South Africa means we must have versatility to counter a range of potential threats, for example firepower and protection to engage potential opposing forces BUT also the mobility to operate across the range of terrain that may be encountered.

Our contribution to global security implies long term involvement in peace missions. We must have light, mobile forces and the ability to deploy and sustain such forces over considerable distances in remote areas, and into hostile and underdeveloped areas. We must also be able to cope with an escalation in hostilities. There is thus a need for a strategic, operational and tactical transport capacity to initiate, enhance and sustain the deployment of personnel and materiel.

In terms of Air defence, the South African Air (SAA) Force provides a defence umbrella for other assets. It must therefore have the ability to detect hostile or illegal flights in the affected areas but, is dependent on other means such as aerial surveillance or mobile ground systems.

Maritime defence has three components: surface, sub-surface and air capabilities encompassing the defence of South Africa's territorial waters and sea lines of communication. This is vitally important to effective maritime defence but cannot be done by surface vessels alone. Aerial surveillance by satellite and/or aircraft is critical. A suitable combination of systems is a key requirement.

The health and fitness of members of the SANDF is central to an effective force. Comprehensive health care must be provided to all members of the SANDF and must also include a mobile capability for members deployed on operations.

The success of securing and stabilising areas of conflicts depend to a large part on a sound understanding of the conflict. The focus therefore of defence intelligence must move beyond the traditional focus on opposing military forces, to include broader intelligence expertise.

The new Force Design must meet all the requirements we have outlined above. Noting that the 1998 recommended force design levels were in many cases not achieved...it was finally decided that the Department of Defence is duty bound to ensure basic capabilities are retained despite severe budget constraints.

The new force design is now ready and will be presented in detail to both the Executive and the Legislature within the next month. Also important, in terms of strategic support, is the defence industry which must now align itself to the above, in order to meet the strategic needs of the SANDF.

The process of the transformation of the defence industry has unfolded over the last five years and is nearing completion. The research and development component will now be housed under the new Defence Evaluation and Research Institute (DERI), thus eliminating fragmentation and duplication. The DERI will fall under the DOD in terms of strategic direction and to ensure alignment with the needs of defence. Its daily operational activities will fall under the Department of Science and Technology.

A redesigned Armscor, to be called Defence Acquisition Support Organisation (DASO), falling directly under the Secretary for Defence and thus performing as an agent of the DOD, will continue to procure category one defence materiel - that is materiel required exclusively for military use purposes.

The five Ministerial priorities for the year 2008 are:
* the rejuvenation and upgrade of the landward programme
* infrastructure and the Department of Defence works regiment
* operationalisation of the defence review update
* revitilisation of the reserves
* information technology

In conclusion our participation in peace missions, which is the highest level of peacetime commitment in the history of the SANDF, now requires the establishment and maintenance of a wide range of defence capabilities.

After the 1998 Defence Review, Government made a concerted effort to modernise and capacitate the SA Air Force and the SA Navy through a strategic defence acquisition programme.

The emphasis of the Department of Defence's capital acquisition programmes over the next two decades will concentrate largely on the renewal of the landward defence and associated capabilities. The magnitude of this initiative requires that the programme be staggered against a clear prioritisation of the requirement.
First priority will be given to those elements of the landward programme that are critical to the fulfilment of the international obligations of the Republic, namely the forces required for UN and AU Peace Missions, humanitarian and disaster assistance and those elements required for the SADC Brig and the Africa Standby Force.

The second long term priority will be the conventional elements of the landward capability. The understanding of this House, of the tasks that lie ahead for the SANDF and the support for our programmes to be able to carry out our constitutional mandate, is central to our success.

We are justly proud of our brave men and women in the South African National Defence Force, and this speech is dedicated to them.

I thank you.

Issued by: Department of Defence
27 May 2008

 


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