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SANDF able to defend the country despite ‘lack of funding’

Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said budget constraints mean the SANDF can’t afford to install essential technology or put the required number of boots on the ground to guard the country’s borders.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has again lamented the lack of funding for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), saying this has caused a decline in its capabilities that needs to be addressed or the country will run into serious difficulties.

But at the same time, she has reassured members of the National Council of Provinces that the defence force would be able to defend the country in the event of an invasion.

Mapisa-Nqakula is among ministers in the peace and security cluster answering questions in the NCOP this afternoon.

She said budget constraints mean the defence force can’t afford to install essential technology or put the required number of boots on the ground to guard the country’s borders.

Asked if it would be possible without the money available for the country to defend itself in the event of any invasion, Mapisa-Nqakula said: “The reason why you have a peaceful sleep at night and you wake up and there’s no invasion of the country, it is precisely because we’re able to make do with the little that we have.”

Mapisa-Nqakula said the SANDF and its reserve force was well-armed and well-trained.

“So, if something were to happen, I can assure you that the defence force will be up to it. We do have capabilities – what is important is we must now strive to arrest the decline of those capabilities.”

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