25 Oct South African Defense Budget Cut

The national army chief Lt-Gen Lindile Yam has criticised government for budget cuts that have hampered the military's defence capacity at home and its ability to participate in foreign peacekeeping operations. Yam also highlighted that the army wasn’t even able to procure simple things like uniform. Currently the army’s budget is less than 1% of the GDP as opposed to during the apartheid government where it was around 28% of the GDP. In his speech Yam stressed that South Africa was not immune to extremist attacks, pointing to an Islamist insurgency that erupted a year ago in neighbouring Mozambique. Early this year, South Africa’s former finance minister Malusi Gigaba in his budget speech announced the cut of the defence ministry’s budget to R47.9 billion for the 2018/2019 financial year, from R48.9 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year.

To help us unpack the discussion for the day, we are joined by:

• Dr Sam Gulube Secretary of Defence Department of Defence

• Prof Thomas Mandrup Associate Professor: Security Institute of Governance & Leadership in Africa Stellenbosch University

• Helmoed Heitman Defence Analyst
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