Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said budget cuts were putting the ability of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to carry out its constitutional mandate into question.
Mapisa-Nqakula on Tuesday presented the Department of Defence’s R50.5 billion budget at Parliament.
She said over the past few years, the department had been forced to continuously scale down its plans in response to a declining budget.
Mapisa-Nqakula said the situation was worsening.
“The defence force is becoming progressively more unsustainable in terms of declining defence allocations and we have now reached the point where the republic must decide on the kind of defence force it wants and what it can afford.”
Mapisa-Nqakula said the defence force could only perform to the extent that it was resourced and funded.
“Strategically, we are now becoming forced to transition from being mandate driven to being funding driven.
She said last year there was a baseline reduction of just over R18 billion and that a further cut of nearly R5 billion would impact on training, equipment and core capabilities.
“I must ask if the House is satisfied that the current resourcing of the defence force is consistent with the obligations placed on it by the Constitution.”
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