South Africa’s military capabilities have deteriorated to such an extent that it would be unable to mount a meaningful defense should a situation arise.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has since been urged to act quickly and intervene in restoring the declining state of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF†
According to a report to the Parliamentary Defense Portfolio Committee, the air and water fleets of the South African Air Force (SAAF) have been found to be disintegrating in such a way that “only one of the four frigates, and none of the three submarines, are serving”.
“Only 46 out of 217 planes and only 27 out of 87 helicopters are usable. Not to mention the multitude of unserviceable aircraft from the VIP fleet, the transport fleet and the Gripens, Rooivalk and the trainer Pilatus fleets,” the report reads.
The Democratic Alliance (DAShadow Defense Minister Kobus Marais said this was a major concern.
“We are deeply concerned that South Africa’s military capabilities have deteriorated. In fact, almost all equipment purchased under the arms deal is affected and most of it is unusable.
“South Africa’s naval and air forces are nothing but lonely at the moment, and there seems to be little political will to remedy this,” Marais said.
“With the porous national borders and the political unrest in our neighboring countries – the terrorism in Mozambique particularly worrying – we can’t just stand by and hope things change,” he continued.
Marais went on to say that urgent action is needed.
“It is time for the President, the Ministers of Defense, Finance, Public Enterprises and the chiefs of all our armed forces to intervene to stop the near-total destruction of our military equipment before the first mission.”