Denel’s collapse now threatening SANDF’s defence capabilities 

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Kobus Marais MP

The DA has written to the Chairperson of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence, Cyril Xaba, to request that the committee investigates SANDF’s internal preparedness to threats in light of Denel’s decay.

We have seen a letter in which the Chief Director of SANDF’s Force Development And Support, Major General Setete Malakoane, requests guidelines from the Chief of the South African Airforce (SAAF), Lieutenant General Mzayifani Buthelezi, in regards to the SAAF approving payment to Denel in light of the challenges faced by the SOE.

The letter clearly outlines SADF’s concerns and states that:

  • Denel’s current financial situation has created a loss of capabilities” which “has impacted the operation of SAAF and led to most of aircraft systems being unavailable.”
  • The inadequate supply of spares by Denel for maintenance has resulted in the unserviceability of equipment.
  • Denel’s decay has also impacted on a lack of ammunition and combat readiness of SANDF.

This letter is alarming and clearly demonstrates SANDF’s own internal concerns about how Denel’s financial and capacity challenges is now threatening the efficacy of the Airforce and the military in general.

The collapse of Denel now poses a major threat to SANDF’s operational and defence capabilities, and can leave South Africa vulnerable to unwanted threats, especially given the Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

The DA has already requested that the SADNF leadership appear before the committee, however, we also believe as Parliamentarians we have a constitutional responsibility to investigate this impending crisis at SANDF as a matter of national importance due to the possible threat to our country’s security.

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