The recent defence budget debate again highlighted the parlous state of the SA National Defence Force, again to no effect. Capability gaps remain unaddressed and existing capabilities continue to decline.

SA’s maritime security illustrates the situation particularly well. The country has a coastline of 2,798km and an exclusive economic zone of 1,068,660km², plus 466,879km² around Marion and Prince Edward islands 1,750km to the southeast, and depends on shipping for at least 80% of its trade and all of its imported oil...

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