The department of defence continues to be hard hit by the Treasury’s budget cuts. According to the budget review, the special defence account, which manages the acquisition and upgrading of main weapon systems and technology for the department, will be reduced by R5bn in 2021/22. The department has been allocated about R50bn in the 2019/20 financial year. Its budget allocations have been declining in real terms, a situation that is not helped by rising military personnel costs and poor financial controls. In 2018 the department warned that budget cuts would hamper the military’s defence capacity at home and its ability to participate in foreign peacekeeping operations. Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula previously highlighted that the budget allocation had declined in real terms for 20 years, by 5% a year to a mere 1% of GDP. She said the appropriate funding level, as articulated in the defence review, would require a steady increase to at least 2% of GDP. “Some of the countri...

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