The South African Defence Review 2012 was a policy review process carried out by a panel of experts, chaired by retired politician and former Minister of Defence, Roelf Meyer. The review was commissioned by Lindiwe Sisulu the then Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, in July 2011. The review was motivated by the need to correct the errors and shortcomings of the previous review.
- 1 The 1998 Defence Review and its consequences
- 2 Mandate and terms of reference
- 3 Review organisation
- 4 First consultative draft
- 4.1 Immediate capability enhancements
- 4.2 Urgent capability enhancements
- 4.3 Force support requirements
- 5 Public consultation process
- 6 Second draft
- 7 Third draft
- 8 Final version
- 9 Response
- 10 Research papers
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
The 1998 Defence Review and its consequences[edit | edit source]
The previous Defence Review, performed by management consultants from Deloitte and Touche in 1998, which forms the basis of current defence policy, resulted a number of serious problems.
- Aging lower ranks and medically unfit personnel cannot be discharged due to enlistment contracts being based on civil service employment principles.
- Inadequate provision for expeditionary/foreign deployment capacity. The review in fact assumed the SANDF would not perform any foreign deployments. The reality is however that the SANDF has been and still is heavily engaged in United Nations and African Union peacekeeping and enforcement operations (see the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade for example) in numerous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This oversight has necessitated the expensive chartering of foreign civilian heavy airlifters to support the deployed troops.
- "Corporatised" structure not suited to military operational requirements - South African Army brigade and division structures were abolished and replaced by separate "formations" by role such as infantry, armour, intelligence, training, artillery, engineers, etc. This created a "silo" structural system which complicated and hindered interaction and integration of the different elements. Deane-Peter Baker of the South African Institute for Security Studies said that the D&T plan, while alleviating, to an extent, the mistrust of the new South African leadership of the remaining apartheid-era South African Defence Force personnel in middle management positions, reduced the combat effectiveness of the Army, and was seen by 2011 as a mistake, as was the decision to limit the force design of the SANDF to rely on short logistic lines for highly mechanised mobile forces in defence of national territory, as it causes many supply issues during modern foreign deployments. This is one of the major problems of the army and various solutions are being considered by the government to better equip forces deployed in out-of-area force projection operations.
- "Top heavy" command structure (generals/troops ratio too high)
According to defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu, the old report was no longer relevant to South Africa's current situation.
Mandate and terms of reference[edit | edit source]
Review organisation[edit | edit source]
The review body was organised into two components, the review committee and a resource group. The minister faced criticism due to the inclusion of Tony Yengeni in the committee, as Yengeni had been convicted and sentenced for fraud relating to arms acquisition processes.
Committee[edit | edit source]
- Roelf Meyer (Chairperson) - former Minister of Defence, former Minister of Constitutional Development, and Chair of Armscor
- Thandi Modise (Deputy Chairperson) - Premier of the North West Province and former chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence (1998-2004)
- Phandelani Mathoma - General Manager of Corporate Affairs for Old Mutual.
- Tony Yengeni - Former Member of Parliament and Chief Whip of the ruling African National Congress.[lower-alpha 1]
- Nonkonzo Molai - Deputy Director-General: Military Veterans Empowerment and Stakeholder Relations in the Department of Military Veterans and later South African ambassador to Italy.
- Charles Nqakula - former Minister of Defence.
- Godfrey Giles - Lieutenant General, Chair of the Council of Military Veterans' Organisations.
Resource group[edit | edit source]
- Phillip Schoultz - Rear Admiral, South African Navy, former Director Joint Operations of the SANDF[lower-alpha 2]
- John Gibbs - Brigadier General, Deputy Chief Director Defence Reserves.
- Nick Sendall - Major, SANDF. [lower-alpha 3]
- Moses Khanyile - Former provincial police commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal.
- Helmoed Heitman - Defence analyst and journalist
- Tefo Keketsi - Defence analyst at Armscor.
First consultative draft[edit | edit source]
Immediate capability enhancements[edit | edit source]
Immediate capability enhancements that are required to ensure that the SANDF can adequately perform its missions were identified in the consultative draft of the defence review.:pages 418–420
Special forces[edit | edit source]
The South African Special Forces require additional weapons and systems, including a small number of dedicated aircraft for insertion/extraction missions. Additional units should be created for specialised missions.:pages 418–419
Border security[edit | edit source]
The following needs were identified to ensure the SANDF can adequately defend South African borders.
- Agile and protected patrol vehicles.
- Surveillance equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), particularly micro-UAVs. Mobile and fixed acoustic, optronic and radar monitoring systems.
- A "backbone" communications system integrated with tactical air, ground and police communication systems.
- Various types of non-lethal weapons.
- A system to collate data for intelligence led operations.:page 419
Air Space Surveillance and Protection[edit | edit source]
The review found that static, mobile and airborne radar systems to track low-flying aircraft, and aircraft with the capability to intercept low and slow flying target aircraft, were required in order for the SANDF to enhance its air surveillance and protection capabilities.:page 419
Extended Maritime Security Capability[edit | edit source]
Somali-based piracy expanding into the Mozambique channel had been identified as a risk, and an urgent reason to expand South Africa's maritime capability. Immediate requirements for maritime patrol aircraft, offshore patrol vessels, additional shipboard helicopters and shoreline patrol equipment, were identified.:page 419
Crisis Response Capability[edit | edit source]
The following requirements were identified to enable the SANDF to fulfill South Africa's regional security responsibilities:
- Equipment and weapons for parachute and air-landed battalion groups.
- A rejuvenation and expansion of medium airlift capability.
- Heavy/long range aircraft that when combined with the medium airlift aircraft, will allow the Defence Force to deploy a parachute battalion group or an air-landed battalion group within 48 hours from South Africa to anywhere within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, or from a forward base within the continental SADC region to anywhere in an adjoining country.
- The establishment of in-flight refuelling capabilities to enable effective fighter support for crisis response deployments, and to extended the reach of the Special Forces.:pages 419–420
Urgent capability enhancements[edit | edit source]
Various areas were identified by the review in which the SANDF lacks adequate capability to perform near/medium term missions. Obsolete equipment that needed to be replaced in order for the SANDF to retain its capabilities were identified.:420
Infantry Combat Vehicles[edit | edit source]
Infantry combat vehicles are suited to peacekeeping missions. The 30-year-old Ratel IFV was identified as being obsolete, making maintenance difficult, so it was suggested that they be replaced urgently.:420
Armoured Personnel Carriers[edit | edit source]
The Casspir and Mamba APC vehicles were identified as obsolete and in urgent need of replacement. The Mfezi Ambulance is also in need of replacement. A need for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected patrol vehicles has arisen.:421
Logistic Vehicles[edit | edit source]
Light Artillery[edit | edit source]
Recent conflicts in Africa have proven that light artillery that can be deployed quickly is needed. A 105mm long-range gun and ammunition family has been under development by Denel Land Systems since 2012.:421
Aerial Weapons[edit | edit source]
Combat Support Ships[edit | edit source]
Force support requirements[edit | edit source]
Requirements for essential supporting equipment were also included in the consultative review. It was identified that there was a lot of obsolete or unsuitable equipment. This included water purification, field kitchen, field accommodation equipment, obsolete field workshop equipment and old field hospital equipment. The need for the re-establishment of a tactical airfield unit capability for the Air Force, in order to operate aircraft away from bases, was also identified. The acquisition of munitions and explosives to allow rebuilding of ammunition stocks and effective live-fire and explosives training was also highlighted.:421
Public consultation process[edit | edit source]
|Date||Event||Stakeholder / PPP venue||City / Province|
|18 April 2012||Initial meeting||Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, Parliament||Cape Town, Western Cape|
|21 April 2012||PPP||Sport Stadium Tongaat||Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal|
|24/25 April 2012||Stakeholder engagement||Institute for Security Studies (ISS)||Pretoria|
|3 May 2012||Stakeholder engagement||Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR)||Cape Town|
|5 May 2012||PPP||OR Tambo Hall - Ikageng||Potchefstroom, North West Province|
|8/9 May 2012||Stakeholder engagement||Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)||Durban|
|26 May 2012||PPP||Moses Twebe Great Hall||Dimbaza, Eastern Cape|
|29 May 2012||Academic round table||University of the Free State||Bloemfontein|
|30 May 2012||Academic round table||University of the Witwatersrand||Johannesburg|
|1 June 2012||Industry round table||Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association of South Africa (AMD)||Pretoria|
|7 June 2012||CSIR round table||Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)||Pretoria|
|8/9 June 2012||PPP||The Hoyo Hoyo High School||Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga|
|12 June 2012||PPP||Pabalello||Upington, Northern Cape|
|23 June 2012||PPP||Aganang Community Hall||Polokwane, Limpopo|
|18 July 2012||Stakeholder engagement||University of Pretoria Gender Forum||Pretoria|
|23 July 2012||Academic round table||Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University||Port Elizabeth|
|15 Aug 2012||PPP||Walter Sisulu Square||Kliptown, Gauteng|
|16 Aug 2012||Stakeholder engagement||Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, Developmental Agenda||Johannesburg|
|15 Sep 2012||PPP||Nomzamo Community Hall||Strand, Western Cape|
Written submissions[edit | edit source]
The committee received written submissions from various individuals and organisations.
Second draft[edit | edit source]
The second draft, based on the first with changes being informed by input received through the public consultation process, was published on 7 September 2012. Many of the changes were criticized by the pacifist civil society organisation, the Ceasefire Campaign, who said the proposed expansion of the defence force and increased expenditure was unnecessary as South Africa does not face any credible threat of conventional war.
Second edition of the Second Draft[edit | edit source]
A second edition of this draft was published on 6 November 2012. This was to make a number of "technical changes" after discussions with the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, the Defence Secretariat Council and the Military Command Council.
Third draft[edit | edit source]
This draft was published on 10 April 2013. The draft recognised that South Africa was a significant military force in Southern Africa, however it was not considered as one of the world's major military forces.
Final version[edit | edit source]
The final edition, retitled the "2014" review due to the delay in publication, was accepted by Cabinet and submitted to Parliament in May 2014. The main points covered in the over 400-page document are:
The Defence Review identified 4 main goals of the SANDF:
- Defend and Protect South Africa
- Safeguard South Africa
- Promote Peace & Security
- Developmental & other tasks
To meet these goals the Review identified a number of Required Defence Capabilities:
- Joint Command and Control
- Defence Diplomacy
- Special Forces
- Special Operations forces
- Medium-Combat forces - configured and maintained as a projectable, multi-roled medium-combat capability with enhanced fire-power, manoeuvreability and protection making it suitable for a range of contingencies.
- Heavy-Combat forces - to deter South Africa’s potential adversaries and conduct landward operations in high-threat situations and to augment the Medium-Combat forces
- Maritime Operations
- Air Operations
- Military Health
- Information Warfare capability
Realising that the cost of implementing all of the recommendations was immense, the Review recommended 5 Planning milestones for implementing the Review's recommendations:
- Planning Milestone 1: Arrest the decline in critical capabilities through immediate, directed interventions.
- Planning Milestone 2: Rebalance and re-organise the Defence Force as the foundation for future growth.
- Planning Milestone 3: Create a sustainable Defence Force that can meet current ordered defence commitments.
- Planning Milestone 4: Enhance the Defence Force’s capacity to respond to nascent challenges in the strategic environment.
- Planning Milestone 5: Defend the Republic against insurgency and/or armed conflict to the level of limited war.
Force Design[edit | edit source]
The Review proposed a re-organisation of the combat forces.
Army[edit | edit source]
It is proposed that operational forces be grouped under a Land Command, with the combat elements organized into brigades grouped into three divisions, each of which has a specific operational focus. In addition, some specialized elements will be under direct command of the Land Command.::page 232 The three divisions are:
- Mechanised Division
- Motorised Division
- Contingency or Special Operations Division
As a short term measure it is recommended that the South African Army consolidate its existing force structure into a Land Command comprising one Division and two Brigades:
- A motorised division.
- A contingency (special operations) brigade.
- A mechanised brigade.
Response[edit | edit source]
The review, having been accepted by cabinet and retitled The "2014" Review, was submitted to parliament after the general election in May 2014. In September 2014, it was reported that official opposition Democratic Alliance shadow minister of defence and military veterans, David Maynier and defence analyst, Helmoed Heitman had expressed concerns with the delays the review was getting and said dealing with, and implementing, the defence review was a matter of urgency. By October 2014 the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and Military Veterans had been established with the responsibility to take the review as input to eventually produce a new defence policy.
Research papers[edit | edit source]
During the review a number of essays were produced by members of the review structure. These documents were used to inform the process.
- Research Essay on a South African Methodology to Determine Level of Defence Ambition
- Research Essay on Changes to South African Defence Policy Since 1910
- Research Essay on Climate Change
- Research Essay on Cyber Warfare
- Research Essay on Defence Ambition, Concept & Capabilities
- Research Essay on International Defence Policy & Strategy Experiences
- Research Essay on Private Military Companies & Mercenarism
- Research Essay on Resources & Conflict
- Research Essay on Security Sector Reform
- Research Essay on the International Credit Crunch and Defence Spending
Notes[edit | edit source]
- A controversial member of the committee as he was convicted and sentenced for corruption related to his role in arms purchases during the late 1990s.
- Retired from the SAN in January 2014 while still serving on the review committee.
- As of 2015[update], part of SANDF communications service.
References[edit | edit source]
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Further reading[edit | edit source]
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