• 10 tips to find bargains

    Susan Erasmus gives advice on how bargain hunters can get the most bang for their buck.

  • Inside Labour

    Labour's bitter breaches need to be seen in historical context, says Terry Bell.

  • Rich getting richer

    Economists differ on how to tackle the chasm between rich and poor, says Leopold Scholtz.

See More

SA armed forces in dire straits

Nov 29 2012 13:36 *James-Brent Styan

Picture: Sapa

Related Articles

SANDF's secret R13bn fund

SA 'haggling' to secure R3bn from Airbus

Milestone as Air Force gets Rooivalk

SANDF mum on piracy surge

SANDF soldiers safe in DRC

Military warns of SANDF jobs scam


Cape Town – The South African armed forces are so financially cash strapped that the combat readiness of the SANDF is currently under serious threat.

Admiral Alan Green, director for strategy in the SANDF told parliamentarians yesterday that the Air Force currently does not have sufficient budget to keep all 26 its new Gripen fighter planes in the air.

Documents in Fin24’s possession, shows that the SAAF Gripens only flew 173 hours during the three months between 1 July and 30 September. That amounts to about 2 hours of flying time per plane per month.

Green said the SANDF is working on a strategy to determine how the planes can all be kept airworthy.

The airforce's nine reserve squadrons have also been grounded.

The Navy is also struggling to keep afloat.

Ongoing operations in the Indian Ocean have exhausted the budgets of the Navy and have placed such strain on the naval forces that operations are currently severely limited.

The Navy has four frigates that were purchased with the arms deal. Only one is currently operating. Two others are in for maintenance and the fourth needs a new engine.

This engine can only be installed in Germany.

Green says the maintainence on the two frigates can take up to nine months.

Operation Copper, the SANDF’s anti-piracy actions in the Indian Ocean only got half its requested budget this past three months.

According to Green, the navy requested R126m but only received R63m.

Helmoed Römer-Heitman, military expert, says for the anti piracy operations South Africa is involved in, all four frigates are necessary.

“It has to do with relieving each other and that sort of thing.”

Green said one frigate is sufficient at the moment.

Römer-Heitman says the SA government is playing at defence.

“They’re just playing around really. They go and buy a lot of good stuff and then give no money to operate them. That’s pointless. We are in serious trouble what concerns defense readiness.”

David Maynier, DA MP and spokesperson on defence, says the department is not forthcoming about the defence forces combat readiness.

“The last time parliament had a proper briefing on this matter was in 2008.”

Dr Thobs Gamede, chief of strategy in the SANDF was asked yesterday about the SANDF’s combat readiness status.

“We can’t discuss that in open forums,” she said. 

 - Fin24

*Follow James-Brent Styan on Twitter @jamesstyan




Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Brought to you by BizNews

More from BizNews

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!


Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

How do you see your boss? He/sheis:

Previous results · Suggest a vote