Defence Review Committee 201224 April 2012
The draft Defence Review 2012 was made public by the
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Lindiwe
Sisulu, on Thursday 12 April 2012. A number of consultation
events will now be
conducted in the period leading up to the Minister’s Budget
Vote on 17 May 2012, starting with a briefing to the
Portfolio Committee on Defence on Wednesday, 18 April 2012.
Thereafter the Defence Review Committee will proceed with
the consultation process through provincial Imbizo’s and
stakeholder engagements until the end of June 2012
throughout the rest of South Africa.
The fundamental difference between this Defence Review and the 1998 Defence Review
The 1998 Defence Review was, for obvious reasons, preoccupied with the integration of both the statutory and non-statutory armed forces after the negotiated transition in 1994. It addressed matters of transformation and the normalisation of security relations in the Southern African Region. It attempted to provide the first policy foundations for a "Defence in a Democracy". It further took a very conservative approach to the deployment of the Defence Force in pursuit of regional security, envisaging that South Africa would only contribute a single battalion to peace keeping operations. Within a short number of years South Africa’s commitment had grown substantially beyond this level.
This Defence Review moves significantly beyond the narrow and internal focus of the 1998 Defence Review. It unpacks the constitutional mandate, other statutes, South Africa’s international obligations and work that government expects the Defence Force to do.
Its departure point is that the Defence Force exists to fulfil a very important role in society and it unpacks what that role is. It thus unpacks five (5) strategic Defence Goals and fifteen (15) high-level Defence Tasks. These broad strategic goals include:
The Defence Review posits the level of effort required for South Africa to meet these strategic goals and high-level tasks, the core defence capabilities required and provides comprehensive guidelines for the Defence Force Design.
It is important to note that the Defence Review does not express itself on the Defence Force Design or the Defence Force Structure. The Chief of the Defence Force will develop a Blueprint Force Design and Force Structure in a subsequent process.
The defence contribution to National Security objectives
The Defence Review discusses the Defence contribution to national security and foreign policy objectives by distinguishing between the domestic and regional dimension of national security.
Such security objectives include the defence of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the South African state and the promotion of regional and continental security in Southern Africa. South Africa accords central importance to the Region and the Continent; working with countries of the South to address shared challenges of underdevelopment, poverty, promoting global equity and social justice; working with countries of the North to develop an effective partnership for a better world; and strengthening the multilateral system.
The struggle for a better life in South Africa is intertwined with the pursuit of a better Africa in a better world. Regional and Continental integration is the foundation for Africa’s socio-economic development and political unity, and essential for South Africa’s prosperity and security. Consequently, Africa is at the centre of South Africa’s foreign and security policy. South Africa must therefore continue to support Regional and Continental processes to respond to and resolve crises, strengthen regional integration, significantly increase intra-African trade, and champion sustainable development and opportunities in Africa.
Key pronouncements of the Defence Review
The Defence Review does not limit itself to high-level policy and strategy matters. Although it does address these comprehensively, it also focuses its attention on matters of defence doctrine, defence capabilities, defence structural arrangements and the accounting for resources provided. The Defence Review thus:
Consultation and Public engagement
It is important to emphasise that the Defence Review Committee was appointed as an independent body to pronounce independently on future defence policy and strategy. The draft Defence Review 2012 is now open for comments and proposals and the Committee will be engaging with the broader South African society to draw on the best possible consensus on the future defence trajectory. Key stakeholders, including the Defence Force, partners and communities around the country will be consulted.
The draft Defence Review 2012 can be viewed at the following media: