SPEECH BY ACTING CHIEF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN
NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE DURING A MEDIA BRIEFING
HELD AT JOINT OPERATIONS DIVISION REGARDING
SANDF DEPLOYMENT ON THE BORDERS
26 April 2011
would like to take this opportunity to welcome
the distinguished members of the media to this
operations’ briefing today. Indeed, we are
delighted that you have accepted our invitation.
The briefing will be about
OPERATION CORONA, but, we may discuss external
operations briefly. However today’s briefing
will be more on land borders.
In terms of the Constitution of
the Republic of South Africa, it is the South
African National Defence Force’s responsibility
to safeguard our land, air and maritime
borders. The South African government took a
conscious decision to declare border
safeguarding a national priority
Members of the media and public
are aware that the South African Police Service
is withdrawing from the duty of safeguarding our
land borders to concentrate more on the high
levels of crime.
I wish to inform the South
African public that in line with our
constitutional responsibility the South African
National Defence Force has returned to the
borders with effect from April 2010. The return
to the borders will be effected in a five-phase
approach over the next four years with a total
of twenty-two (22) companies.
In her 2011 Budget Vote Speech,
the Honourable Minister of Defence and Military
Veterans referred to border security as follows.
“We promised to return to the
borders and we can report we have done so. We
are currently covering 1 500 kilometres of the
At the end of the full
deployment, it is estimated that the SANDF would
cover 4 471 kilometres of land border, 2 700
kilometres of maritime border and 7 660
kilometres of air border.
We took the opportunity to invite
members of the Portfolio Committee on Defence to
see the formidable challenges that we are faced
with as we took over the responsibility. Now
South Africa is reaping the benefits of our
deployment. Our borders are most secure,
cross-border crime has dropped, syndicate crime
has been dealt a blow and our communities and
the farmers feel safer, because they believe in
The outline of the SANDF’s
landward border protection roll-out plan
consists of the following phases:
Phase 1 (2010/2011).
This phase ended in March 2011 with four
companies already deployed on the North-East
Zimbabwe and Mozambique borders. Two
engineering troops were deployed in support to
repair border fences.
Phase 2 (2011/2012).
This phase started in the new financial year
(April 2011) and includes the deployment of
three companies to the Kruger National Park
(Mozambique), Lesotho and Swaziland borders
Phase 3 (2012/2013).
Four additional companies will deploy on the
Lesotho and Swaziland borders.
The focus in this deployment will be on the
Botswana/Namibian borders, but will also include
deployments on the Lesotho border.
Phase 5 (2014/2015).
Deployments will concentrate along the Botswana
and Namibian frontiers. Additional deployments
will include Swaziland and Mozambique. By this
time all twenty-two (22) companies would be
deployed and safeguarding South Africa’s land
Although the above phases are
spread over a period of five years, however, the
Minister has directed that all these phases be
compressed into a three year period running up
The SANDF is the lead department
in the border safeguarding, but requires the
co-operation of various state departments
namely: Agriculture, Health, Home Affairs,
Public Works, South African Police Services,
State Security and Tourism to ensure our success
and effectiveness. The land border safeguarding
will be conducted mainly by the South African
Army soldiers supported by the South African Air
Force and South African Military Health Services
elements. These will be operating in identified
mission areas conducting day and night high
I would also like to take this
opportunity to appeal to the members of the
community where we are deployed to be supportive
to the SANDF members in fulfilment of their
I would also in the same vein
like to take this opportunity to issue a stern
warning to the illegal border-crossers
and rhino poachers that we don’t
want any casualties and that pulling a gun
against a soldier is the last thing they should
attempt to do.
I thank you