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Retrenchment: 1,500 SANDF personnel to be axed

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More than 1,500 people are to face retrenchment in the four SANDF services, according to the Department of Defence’s (DoD) Human Resources Division. This is according to Defenseweb.

Defence Intelligence will also be affected by the layoffs, though to a lesser extent.

The SA Army, which makes up the majority of the national defense force, has issued orders to commence the retrenchment of 998 personnel throughout its formations and directorates. The SA Air Force (SAAF), which must reduce its ranks by 218 personnel, the SA Navy (SAN), which will have 159 fewer personnel, and the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS), which will have 156 fewer personnel in terms of both numbers and salaries, are far behind the landward force in terms of personnel reductions.

The decrease in numbers does not indicate how many retrenchments will come from the civilian side and how many will be uniformed members of the national defense force (Public Service Act Personnel).

The Department of Defense’s Human Resource Division (DoD) MEM letter, which informs of the numbers and the procedure to be followed, was written in accordance with CSANDF Instruction 06/2022 and the MEM for serving SANDF members, both of which were issued in February of this year.

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Retrenchments Across the Board

The implementation of the retrenchments is one of five initiatives DoD Human Resource Chief Vice Admiral Asiel Kubu stated would result in a “average planned” SANDF personnel strength of 73 000 over the medium-term expenditure framework in March at a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) (MTEF).

Thandi Modise, minister of defense and veterans of the military, acknowledged the high cost of personnel in the SANDF in response to a recent question from a member of parliament. A SA Army initiative to establish bakeries for military use, she told Kobus Marais, the Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister for her portfolio, would increase the “buying power of an inadequate [defence] budget after paying salaries.”

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