SANDF will be hard-pressed to assist in future catastrophes in SA, warns Modise

Tabling the defence budget on Tuesday, Defence Minister Modise told the house that these deployments put the SANDF under great pressure as it was often not reimbursed and that supplies of crucial equipment were critically low.

FILE: SA Military Health Service members help screen residents for COVID-19. Picture: @SANDFCorpEvents/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise has warned that the defence force will be hard-pressed to assist in future catastrophes that may hit the country.

Modise told Parliament that this was due to a lack of funding and equipment.

Defence force members have been deployed to help police during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Vaal River clean up and with health services in the North West province.

They are still involved in providing relief in flood-stricken KwaZulu-Natal.

Tabling the defence budget on Tuesday, Defence Minister Modise told the house that these deployments put the SANDF under great pressure as it was often not reimbursed and that supplies of crucial equipment were critically low.

"We wish to inform this house that the SANDF will be hard-pressed to respond to critical events in other provinces should the need arise. I state this with a very heavy heart - we are willing, but we lack resources," Modise said.

Modise said that given continued budget cuts, there was a widening gap between what the SANDF was expected to achieve and the resources it was provided with to do its job.