Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has welcomed the approval of the Defence Review 2014 by the National Assembly, calling it a major milestone in ensuring the revitalisation of South Africa’s armed forces.
The Minister expressed her appreciation to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans and all political parties that participated in the debate and approval of the Defence Review, which proves that the South African National Defence Force is Pretoria -a national asset.
The review provides a long-term defence policy and defence strategic direction to be followed by the country over the next four Medium Term Strategic Framework periods.
Its objective is to create a balanced, flexible and modern force that uses aanced technology in response to the changing nature of the defence function globally.
The Defence Review takes the defence policy a step further and is a major milestone in ensuring the revitalisation of the country’s armed forces.
“The adoption of Defence Review by the National Assembly will ensure the decline in the capacity and capability of the national defence force is arrested,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said in a statement.
During her Budget Vote speech last month, the Minister said “it is critical for South Africa to have a viable defence force capable of protecting the sovereignty of the country and also able to contribute significantly to regional and continental requirements. We are of the view that this policy captures these aspirations”.
Following this process, an oversight body, the Defence Review Implementation Project Team (DRIPT) consisting of both the Defence Secretariat and the Military Command has been established to ensure departmental integration during planning and implementation.
Two permanent planning streams, one on policy matters led by the Defence Secretariat and the other on force development planning led by the Military Command, will drive the planning and implementation process of the Defence Review.
The Defence Secretariat planning team will institutionalise the new defence direction by developing among others the funding model to enable the resourced implementation of the Defence Review 2014, as well as a defence accountability concept to ensure civil control of defence without compromising the command and control of the SANDF.
The Defence Secretariat planning team will also set up a delegation regime supportive of military command and control, develop a system to expedite defence capital acquisition and develop the Defence Industry and Technology Strategy.
The Military Command planning team for its part has begun work that seeks to incorporate the new defence policy into a Military Strategic Direction Framework.
The work includes development of a new Military Strategy that will spell out how military resources will be utilised to achieve the policy objectives of the Defence Review 2014.
They will also develop an appropriate force design and force structure to provide a clear account of capabilities required to achieve policy objectives as well as the development of a plan to systematically restructure the SANDF throughout the MTSF period, as may be allowed by the current resource baseline, with particular emphasis on the command and staff system and the establishment of combat formations.
The Defence Review sets out five milestones, which the committee responsible for compiling it feel must be met if the SANDF is to become a force South Africans can be proud of and which will be a national asset.
The planning milestones are:
arresting the decline in critical capabilities through immediate and directed interventions
re-balancing and re-organising the SANDF as the foundation for future growth
creating a sustainable defence force to meet ordered defence commitments
enhancing the SANDF’s capacity to respond to nascent challenges in the strategic environments and
defending South Africa against imminent or dire threat.
Source : SAnews.gov.za