Today's Labour News

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sandf thumb medium90 89News24 reports that following a tragic submarine accident in Cape Town, the spotlight has fallen on the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) declining budget.

Over the last decade, budget cuts have crippled the SANDF’s ability to maintain its prime equipment such as submarines, special armoured vehicles, fighter jets and the Rooivalk attack helicopter. Pushing uniformed defence personnel to their breaking point would bring about more fatal military mistakes, experts have warned as the country’s armed forces buckle under colossal budget cuts. The submarine, the SAS Manthatisi, was behind schedule for refitting, but SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said that the refitting of the submarine had nothing to do with Wednesday's accident. On Thursday, defence expert Darren Olivier agreed that the cause of the accident could not directly be attributed to funding shortages. “But what we do know is that if we continue to underfund the SANDF so badly compared to its role, force structure, and mandate, and we keep pushing our uniformed personnel to their breaking points, we will see more mistakes happening and more fatal accidents as a result,” he opined. Olivier added: “We have been stretching the SANDF's personnel to breaking point, forcing them to do more with less, to perform miracles with aged equipment, and to keep their skills sharp despite not being given the ideal amount of practice in realistic conditions.”

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jason Felix and Nicole McCain at News24 (subscriber access only)

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