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12 Mar 2009 10:24
South Africa’s ineffective border patrol is of grave concern and poses a threat to the country’s security, a report by Parliament’s portfolio committee on defence said on Thursday.
The report on the State of Readiness of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) found that the current budgetary allocation for the department of defence was inadequate to address its operational challenges.
“The current ineffective border patrol is a matter of grave concern for the portfolio committee and poses a threat to the security of our country and our people with millions of people flowing unchecked into and out of our country,” the report said.
“This crisis must be addressed urgently by the responsible departments, including a possible future role for the department of defence.”
The portfolio committee on defence reached its conclusions after a series of closed meetings with the defence department.
The committee recommended that the annual budget allocation for the defence department be raised from the current 1,2% to 1,7% of the gross domestic product during the next four years.
“All possible efforts should be made to ensure that the current limited resources are effectively directed to national defence priorities,” the report said.
The committee found that the SANDF had come to a “cross road” on whether it should remain a finance-driven defence force or change to a mandate-driven defence force.
A decision needed to be made at the highest level on whether the future of the SANDF would be relevant or “whether it will continue its current downward spiral of becoming inadequate to fulfil its constitutional mandate”.—Sapa
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