Manual Days Of The Generals: The Untold Story of South Africas Apartheid-era Military Generals

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In this study, poverty is defined as an income of R or less per adult per month. The study found that the bottom 20 per cent lived on an income of R or less per adult per month. These figures are cold and lifeless indicators of human misery, hunger and homelessness. At the same time, South Africa has one of the most unequal distributions of income in the world. The current defence budget clearly absorbs resources which could be invested in infrastructure such as housing, clinics and schools.

Civil society needs to be empowered to question why the state is spending R million on 12 Rooivalk attack helicopters. The Rooivalk project has soaked up some R1,17 billion in research and development money and has failed to create more than a few hundred jobs. Another direct threat to security is the rising level of violent crime related to the proliferation of light weapons.

Light weapons are a development issue: land-mines impede post-conflict social and economic recovery, and the availability of small arms exacerbates political violence and social instability, and has direct effects on economic development. Firearm killings are the fastest-growing form of violence in South Africa; every day, 19 people are murdered with a firearm. The main cause of the proliferation of light weapons is the armed conflict that has taken place in the region, and ineffective disarmament and demobilisation in post-conflict peace building.

The main source of small arms is leakage from the various armed forma-. Increasingly, global conflicts are caused by, or exacerbated by, competition over scarce natural resources such as land, fuel and water. It predicts that, unless rationalising measures are introduced, future wars will be fought over water Business Day, 23 August Water is life and its absence could generate conflict both globally and regionally.

Mechanisms need to be established to anticipate water needs in the region and oversee its equitable distribution. These are necessary to prevent conflict arising over water scarcity. There are a number of causes of water scarcity in the region. Firstly, rainfall levels in southern Africa have declined over the last 95 years.

There has been a steady 10 per cent decline in average rainfall every season, combined with two severe droughts every decade. Every fourth year, over the same period, inadequate rains of just below drought conditions have been registered. Secondly, the advent of peace in the region has accelerated the consumption of this precious commodity.

Large development projects, such as roads and airports, have used vast amounts of water. Huge forests have been replaced by tarred surfaces that do not absorb heat and have permanently affected the environment. There have been increased temperatures in the day and night, averaging 1,2 per cent and 0,6 per cent respectively. This results in increased evaporation levels followed by increased rainfall.

For example, in. Zimbabwe the dams lost more than one-third of their holdings, from 5 billion to 3 billion litres before the onset of the hottest months of the dry season. Rapid surface water evaporation also affects groundwater levels, drying out wells, boreholes and natural river systems. The final factor contributing to water scarcity is population growth and increasing urbanisation. Governments are faced with the daunting task of providing adequate water supplies to a rapidly expanding population.

Increasingly, governments are having to rationalise the amount of water used. Some states have the technical skills and resources to extract water, while others, which may be worse off in terms of water availability, do not. Consequently, these sources become potential areas of conflict between states. What is the alternative? Given the difficulties of reversing declining water levels coupled with increasing demand, the region needs to establish a water authority.

Its mandate and responsibilities would need to include:. Acute shortages make water a strategic commodity that can become a source of conflict. Conflict resolution mechanisms need to be in place to avoid such crises. A credible, legally empowered and adequately resourced water authority is an important initiative that can be put into place immediately. The solution to the problem of violent crime and the proliferation of light weapons is complex, but in the immediate short term it requires a massive shift of resources from the military to the police. Contemporary changes in the character of armed conflict necessitate a rethinking of defence and security needs in global and local terms.

The link between professional military establishments and the modern nation-state should be subject to critical scrutiny. There are strong grounds for questioning the existence of state military structures when the nature of war has changed from its conventional inter-state character. Almost all contemporary wars are civil wars. Virtually all of the conflict involves violence between internal groups often ethnically defined rather than states.

This leads to a crucial question which is at the centre of this book. How far should demilitarisation go? Armies and soldiers are not fixed and inevitable features of a nation-state, as the experiences of Costa Rica, Panama and Haiti show. President Figueres of Costa Rica has urged African nations to eliminate their armies if they really want development The Star, 30 April Throughout the twentieth century, South African armed forces have never been used in a classic role to repel an invader.

The SADF was used largely as an instrument of repression to maintain white rule. Its response has been to try to position itself as a bastion of order. A frequent argument is that the SANDF needs to move away from offensive to pragmatic capabilities, such as participating in peacekeeping operations, border protection and disaster relief. It remains geared for offensive action north of the border.

This is the logic behind the decision to purchase 12 Rooivalk attack. Without sources of its own, the water engineers of the s looked to inter-basin transfers to slake this thirst. The solution was sought in importing water from the Tugela basin and the Lesotho Highlands, source of the Orange River, which flows from the Maluti mountains to the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay, just south of Namibia. Support for the African National Congress AN C had allowed South African exiles to shelter in the mountain kingdom and led to raids on the capital, Maseru, by apartheid forces.

Jonathan was not keen to enter into a water deal with Pretoria. The World Bank was reluctant to put its imprimatur on any project without willing signatures on both sides. At the end of , South Africa faced an impasse. Within a week of the siege being initiated, the Jonathan government collapsed and Major-General Lekhanya of the Royal Lesotho Armed Forces assumed power. Within months, the treaty providing South Africa with water was signed and ratified.

Funds were soon released by the World Bank and the. The project, therefore, has its origins in apartheid-style planning and is associated with a lack of democratic decision-making in Lesotho. Ten years later, the project is still the object of controversy about its implementation and impacts.

Implementation of the first phases, 1A and 1B, have created a number of problems for the highland communities. Phase 1A, consisting largely of the construction of the Katse dam, has resulted in the dislocation of many villagers, the inundation of arable land, and the disruption of communications between villages near the dam. Problems of alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases have become a social crisis in the highlands.

Compensation for loss of fields and livelihoods has been inadequate, breeding land hunger as never before. Seismic activity caused by filling the dam has wrecked many houses in the village of Mapeleng. In September , mounted police shot and killed a number of Lesotho workers on the project, during a strike protesting against racially based employment practices and differential pay for Lesotho and foreign nationals. Water scientists have also begun to express their misgivings about the project. If all phases are implemented, the supply to communities further downstream, as the river passes through the arid Kalahari and Namib deserts, will be reduced.

South African authorities have been reluctant to demand the highest standards of their Lesotho counterparts, despite provision in the treaty which guarantees the project will not jeopardise living standards. In addition, the Group for Environmental Monitoring hosted a workshop in Johannesburg in August to bring together key players in an attempt to unblock the stalemate in relations between the community and the implementing agency.

Some of these initiatives have raised publicity for the resolution of problems associated with the project. However, the pace of improvement remains slow. These dislocations do not breed optimal conditions for water or any other forms of security. Paradoxically, there is simultaneous acknowledgement by military leaders that there are no conventional threats. While recognising that demilitarisation and conversion are contested concepts, the GEM project formulated in points to seven ways in which military resources could be redirected to environmental protection and sustainable development:.

It is increasingly recognised that defining national security largely in military terms fails to recognise many other crucial determinants. Real security can only be attained by reducing spending on armaments and systematically redirecting resources to meet critical human and environmental needs.

Real defence is making people stronger by meeting their basic needs. There can be no better fortification than a healthy, well-housed and literate population. From this perspective, high defence expenditure has been compared to dismantling a house in order to erect a fence around it. The implication is that a shift of resources is necessary away from military preparations with their toxic, polluting side-effects in favour of environmental restoration and sustainable development.

In the old or traditional approach, security was about preserving state sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity. Security was defined as a military issue. However, Nathan has pointed out that this approach has a number of shortcomings: it ignores the underlying reasons for conflict, consumes resources and neglects the various forms of non-violent conflict resolution. The inevitable reaction of those states is to heighten their own military preparedness.

The new concept of ecological security is linked to economic development and human rights. The implication is that security should not only be defined at the level of nation-states, but linked to larger issues of global security and smaller issues of personal security. In this sense, the notion of human security has always been implicit in the concept of development. Its dimensions include:. It is only now that we are beginning to learn of the killing and torture perpetrated by the apartheid state in the name of national.

Current threat analyses focus on the variety of security problems in the southern African region resulting from poverty, drought, disease and social dislocation. There is a need to move away from the narrow statist and militarist concept of security as defence from external aggression, to a more holistic approach which recognises that security is a multi-faceted concept with economic, social, political and ecological dimensions.

The White Paper on Defence represents a significant shift in this direction. Demilitarisation involves the closure of some military bases and the dismantling of military installations. The redistribution of SANDF land was one of the demands made at the National Land Committee Conference held in February , attended by delegates from rural and landless communities. In the SANDF was the fourth-largest land-controlling authority in South Africa, managing some 60 military facilities which cover approximately hectares of land. However, there are allegations that the military has occupied pristine land for recreational purposes.

This book relates how some military land was acquired through the dispossession and forced removal of communities under the apartheid regime. One of these occurred in , when people were moved from Riemvasmaak near Upington, after the area was declared a military zone.

This peace-loving and settled community was divided along racial lines and then — according to how officials had chosen to categorise them — sent to different destinations. Those whom the state chose to call Xhosa were sent to the Ciskei 1 km away and those classified Damara were sent out of South Africa to Damaraland in Namibia over 1 km away.

In , the Riemvasmaak community applied to the Commission on Land Allocation for permission to return, and did so on 21 May Riemvasmaak has been used as a model of restitution. The SADF also benefited from the forced removal of 3 people from the shores of Lake St Lucia between and , to establish a missile testing range, and about 3 people were removed from the Makatini flats in Zulu land in and when a buffer zone was established between Mozambique and Natal Sunday Times, 4 October Lohatla, in the Northern Cape, is a removal site that is generating intense controversy.

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A third group, the Khosis, resisted removal. These displaced groups have claimed back parts of the battle school, which covers hectares of land. Both Lohatla and Riemvasmaak demonstrate the problems of military contamination. There have been several cases of injury to local people thought to have been caused by unexploded ordnance. The question of military contamination is dramatised by the use of land-mines as offensive weapons in southern Africa.

However, there are precedents for the conversion of military land: a nature reserve — Greefswald, near Messina — was handed over to the provincial administration. There are plans to develop the whole Limpopo Valley as an ecotourism destination and as part of a system of trans-frontier national parks. This is anchored in the idea that co-operation across political borders around the management of common. However, Koch , for example, has questioned whether the peace park process can promote social development in the region.

The conversion of human resources is an important challenge for the military and one that is discussed in this book by Rocky Williams. Many governments are reducing the size of their military establishments and some of the human, material and technological resources in this sector are being deployed in environmental protection. In China, military personnel and aircraft have participated in tree planting, forest protection and emergency relief work. In Germany, surveillance flights by special aircraft help to discover and monitor oil spills. A German scout tank, used to detect chemical weapons and radioactive contamination under battlefield conditions, has been modified to detect air and soil pollution.

In Sweden, army helicopters, tracking vehicles and bridging equipment have been used in a variety of environmental emergencies such as wildfires, snowstorms and floods. Both army and navy units have been used to deal with oil spills. Ships with hazardous cargo are monitored by naval command posts.

In Brazil, the armed forces provide logistic support to institutions charged with environmental protection. For example, navy units survey extensive areas of the Amazonian forest and territorial waters to prevent the smuggling of endangered species and illegal fishing. Ghana has used its armed forces to increase the mobility, accessibility and monitoring capabilities of the National Environmental Protection Council.

On request, the air force carries out reconnaissance flights to monitor encroachments on forest reserves, land usage and desertification, poaching, the use of illegal fishing methods, dumping at sea, and coastal pollution and erosion. It is debatable whether the military is the best institution to perform these tasks.

It is anticipated that the Service Corps SC will play a major role in the last respect. The SANDF has resources, equipment, skills and infrastructure which could be of considerable benefit to reconstruction and development. The 70 personnel force level projected for the new army will be extremely costly to maintain. South Africa faces no conventional military threat and a large standing army could constitute a political danger.

The force levels of the new army reflect a tension between social and defence needs. The current emphasis on social needs is influenced by the immense political danger which a compulsory and harsh reduction in numbers would pose, unless linked to a comprehensive demobilisation programme. The Environmental Services Division of the SANDF requires further investigation, as do the ways in which other countries utilise the military in environmental projects.

India may be the most successful example of the use of armed forces for environmental protection. At the National Defence Academy, a crash course in conserva-. It is necessary to debate the deployment of SANDF personnel in non-military roles and probe the implications of non-offensive defence. This is a strategy, materialised in a national posture, that emphasises defensive rather than offensive military options. Measures providing for the social integration of demobilised soldiers form a crucial part of the demilitarisation process and have been analysed by Penny Mckenzie and Tsepe Motumi in this book.

Demobilised soldiers represent potentially both a security threat and a personnel resource.

Days of the Generals

While demobilised soldiers may have demonstrated exceptional levels of courage and commitment, as a social category they usually have limited skills beyond military training, a disrupted education and minimal employment experience. They are therefore ill-equipped to compete in the civilian labour market. Various demobilisation schemes in Africa have proved problematic. The Development Brigade centres set up to provide training and short-term employment for ex-combatants encountered many problems NSER, , cited by Cock, The African country with the most successful demobilisation scheme is probably Uganda, which has been working since to demobilise 42 soldiers and reduce its army by half, with funds raised by the World Bank.

A key aspect of reconstruction and development in South Africa is the development of human resources through various forms of training and education. A number of demobilisation strategies which could contribute to human resource development should be explored. Informal military structures are a legacy of the militarisation of South African society. There are initiatives under way to convert these informal structures, such as self-defence units SDUs , to civilian purposes. For example, in this book Adele Kirsten reports how the Peace Corps in Daveyton trains people in conflict resolution.

Another project, involving the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, trains ex-SDU members in group building skills and organisational management, and is planning to offer job training in relation to small business development, a youth advice centre and the establishment of a recycling centre. The last is of special interest in terms of environmental protection and sustainable development. There are also reports from the East Rand that former SDU guerrillas operate as tour guides to sites of violent conflict in Tokoza and Katlehong. Under the apartheid regime, South Africa developed a massive arms industry.

Armscor plans to expand arms exports by per cent in the next five years, increasing arms sales to approximately R2,4 billion Willett, For example, there is evidence that Armscor sold R million worth of weaponry to the Rwandan government in the five years prior to October There have also been allegations that South Africa supplied a further R50 million worth of weapons to the Hutu forces during June , after the main acts of genocide against the Tutsi population had taken place.

It has played a crucial role in maintaining the apartheid regime and its exports have supported wars and oppressive regimes around the world; it should therefore be dismantled. Arguments about the benefits of the arms industry in terms of jobs, foreign exchange and international prestige are devoid of ethical considerations. Economist arguments maintain that the defence industry is a national asset, a crucial repository of advanced technology, skills and expertise and, on the basis of the jobs and foreign exchange it generates, should be protected.

However, according to Peter Batchelor, research indicates that the economic benefits are greatly exaggerated, especially when taxpayer subsidies and offsets are subtracted. Furthermore, the arms industry absorbs disproportionate numbers of science and technology graduates and skilled technicians. Economists such as Willett, Batchelor and Fine argue that the economic costs of the domestic defence industry outweigh the benefits, and that the future must involve a careful conversion to civilian production with the co-operation of government, industry and the trade unions.

There are difficulties with conversion at plant level, but there is also evidence that the process is under way in South Africa. Until , the mechanical engineering company Reumech was oriented towards military output, but has been successfully transformed into a manufacturer of commercial products, and is only about 50 per cent dependent on the defence market The Star, 6 June However, these initiatives need to be part of a holistic approach to demilitarisation and understood as part of industrial restructuring.

While the social and moral impact of the arms industry is subject to increasing debate, its environmental impact has not been system-. Generally, weapon production and testing involve considerable environmental degradation. Several reserves in South Africa have been used as missile testing sites. In , 72 hectares of land at St Lucia, parts of which had been used as a weapons testing ground since , were transferred to the Natal Parks Board.

There are reports that weapons testing caused considerable environmental damage in a pristine area from Cape Vidal to Sodwana Saturday Argus, 12 October An Armscor demonstration of a multiple rocket launcher resulted in a massive fire which raged across St Lucia for days The Star, 7 June In about 20 powerful surface-to-surface missiles, at least six of which were live, were discovered in the area Saturday Argus, 12 October It should be noted that St Lucia was one of the first four conservation areas to be proclaimed in Africa in De Hoop Nature Reserve, near Arniston in the Western Cape, is still a military zone and used for testing ballistic missiles developed by Armscor.

This is where South Africa, in conjunction with Israel, tested an intercontinental missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Increasing numbers of South Africans are concerned about high levels of defence expenditure — now R10,5 billion, which amounts to about 2 per cent of GDP. Although it has decreased in real terms by 50 per cent since , South Africa still has the largest defence budget in Africa. The Defence Review advocated the purchase of major items such as naval patrol vessels, submarines, jet fighters and 12 Rooivalk attack helicopters as support for ground troops.


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Kasrils has argued that these purchases will enable South Africa to acquire military hardware while creating jobs and training opportunities. But it has been clearly established by scholars such as Nicole Ball and Paul Dunne that defence spending has a negative effect on economic growth. Planned, orderly reductions in defence spending could mean alternative investment in sustainable development generally and environmental management programmes specifically.

At the very least, every defence expense must be considered in relation to a host of competing demands for resources to meet basic needs. The process of democratisation in South Africa is extremely fragile. Now that a pluralist political system and universal franchise have been secured, the consolidation of democracy depends on the trans-. This requires a shifting of power and resources away from the military to social and economic development.

There are seven areas in which this could be achieved in a planned, orderly and holistic way. The conversion and reallocation of military resources to alleviate poverty and environmental degradation should be priorities. In the interests of both justice and social stability their needs must be met. For this to happen, civil society needs to be empowered.

Debates on defence policy issues are not particularly well informed and there is no strong, mass-based demilitarisation movement to challenge the power of the defence establishment. This is a serious problem. In developing countries, but especially in Africa, the military has accumulated power and resources, and subverted democracy partly because civil society has lacked the capacity to engage with it. Healthy civil-military relations require the empowerment of civil society to engage with defence issues; to challenge insider security expert assessment of security needs and budget justification.

Further research and public debate on a multi-dimensional conversion programme are urgently needed. It is hoped that the publication of this book will advance that process. This military power was achieved at considerable expense during the apartheid era. By the late s:.

The Age of the Generals

While South Africa was never under military rule as such, the defence force exerted a strong influence over state policy. Development objectives were linked to security imperatives and the defence force had first-call on the state budget. Considerable demilitarisation took place under the presidency of F. Adam Smith concentrated on this in his Wealth of Nations by focusing on the four French wars and two Dutch wars, and their impact on the productivity and treasury of a nation. So great a share of the annual produce of land and labour of the country, has, since the revolution, been employed upon different occasions, in maintaining an extraordinary number of productive hands, whose labour would have replaced, with a profit, the whole value of their consumption.

The value of the annual produce of the land and labour of the country, would have been considerably increased by it every year. More houses would have been built, more lands would have been improved, and those which had been improved before would have been better cultivated, more manufactures would have been established, and those which had been established would have been more extended.

The new government adopted a development-oriented programme stressing the need for economic growth and distribution, the extension and consolidation of democracy, and the improvement of social conditions. However, even within the ANC and its alliance partners, there was disagreement over the extent to which the new priorities should be funded by further defence cuts. Furthermore, the relationship between defence spending, the defence industry and economic growth was disputed. These disagreements were sharpened when it came to defining defence budgets.

A Brutal Genocide in Colonial Africa Finally Gets its Deserved Recognition

With the defence budget halved since , and well within the target of 2 per cent of GDP recommended by the World Bank for developing countries, it would appear that those. However, the defence force has been agitating for new equipment — notably naval corvettes and Rooivalk helicopters. This has proved another source of disagreement. These debates indicate that, for the first time in South Africa, it is possible to have a reasonably open discussion on key questions related to defence, security and development. The White Paper on Defence, adopted by parliament in May , and the subsequent Defence Review, were the result of a wide-ranging and open consultative process.

At the heart of the new debate is a different concept of security. In a narrow sense, security and development are two issues. During the Cold War, security was seen as defence by a sovereign state from external aggression. Since the end of the Cold War, this concept has been progressively modified: security has been widened to embrace social, economic and political issues, and both trans-national and subnational factors Buzan, ; Booth, It is, however, not entirely new, and it contains a number of sand-traps for those seeking to employ it in the service of demilitarisation.

In apartheid South Africa between and roughly the period of P. However, this Total Strategy proved extraordinarily reductionist in its concept of a communist total onslaught into which it categorised virtually all significant opposition to apartheid.


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  • As the crisis deepened in the s, Total Strategy fell back onto military and police repression, and counter-insurgency doctrine. The ANC, in its policy documents, has argued for a multi-faceted or holistic approach to security. This approach is implicit in the RDP. Peace and security form one of the. This phenomenal expenditure for achieving security is itself a threat to security: global military spending represents 12 per cent of all government expenditure at a time when citizens in both developed and developing countries face sharp cuts in social programmes such as health and education.

    Global military spending must be reduced and accompanied by an increase in funding for human development. It is the belief of the Year Campaign that, by reducing global military spending, demilitarising societies, and developing concrete plans for regional conflict prevention, global security in the 21st century can be preserved and enhanced. However, for many countries, including the United States, sufficient military security can be achieved at far lower levels of spending.

    Not only are the developed countries big military spenders; they are also responsible for 90 per cent of arms transfers to developing nations. Military spending exacts a particularly heavy toll on the social sector in the developing world and too often means a trade-off in which the rest of society loses.

    The Year Campaign has a six-point plan of action to cut military spending and redirect resources to human development:. To talk of an integrated programme begs the question of the exact relationship between defence and development: on this the RDP — both in its original formulation by the ANC and in the White Paper issued by the GNU — is virtually silent. Unfortunately, most studies of the effect of the armament process and the build-up of military forces on economic performance deal with developed industrial countries, and have little relevance to a developing country like South Africa.

    Nevertheless, since the late s, the effect of militarisation in developing countries has been the focus of considerable research, particularly as many have fallen to military coups. In the s and s, some researchers argued that the military were modernisers. With their managerial-technical capabilities, often lacking in civil society, they could marshal the resources of the state for nation-building. This was the argument that P.

    Botha used when he ushered the military into the political decision-making process at the end of the s, with consequences that led South Africa to the brink of civil war. The appalling experiences of military rule in Argentina, Chile, Burma, several Middle East countries and literally dozens of African countries have effectively put paid to arguments supporting a developmental role for the military. Even if soldiers stay safely in their barracks, there is the complex question of the relationship between investment in armed forces and defence industries and socio-economic development.

    For some time the debate centred on the study made by Benoit in , in which he. For three decades, southern Africa was the location of some of the most deadly and protracted conflicts in the world. Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa have all experienced violent struggles against white minority rule.

    Superpower intervention extended conflict in the region, intensifying the scale of destruction and death. Huge amounts of scarce resources have been allocated to military expenditure to sustain war in the region. The military diverted resources from much-needed development goals such as education, welfare and infrastructural projects.

    The region is moving towards peace, reflected in lower levels of military expenditure, disarmament, demobilisation and the reintegration of ex-combatants into civil society. The transition to peace is also captured in the emphasis on sustainable development, multi-party democracy and collective regional security. The significant decline in military expenditure is potentially positive for development, particularly if defence savings are translated into socio-economic gains. According to International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates, regional defence spending has declined by about 10 per cent between and Within the region, there are some notable exceptions to the general trends of decline in military expenditure.

    Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia have all reversed the trend of decline in the last few years. Most of these increases are the result of buying new equipment. For instance, in and Botswana embarked on an ambitious programme of arms acquisition which included placing orders for second-hand Leopard tanks, combat aircraft F-5s and anti-tank missiles.

    Source: The Military Balance. International Institute for Strategic Studies. Reactions to these purchases have been somewhat alarmist, given the small scale of these procurements compared to the overwhelming balance of military power sustained by the SANDF. South African military expenditure is now below 2 per cent of GDP, but it represents almost three times the combined expenditures of the rest of the region. Given multilateral and bilateral pressure from donors to reduce defence expenditure and reallocate resources for development goals, it is likely that overall regional defence spending will continue to decline in the future.

    Realising these benefits in the southern African context will not be automatic. In the short term there are many problems associated with military expenditure cuts, such as providing for effective reintegration of ex-combatants into civil society. Another problem is that the peace. In this way, expectations of the socio-economic benefits of peace are thwarted, fuelling social and political discontent. This situation raises some uncomfortable issues for multilateral and bilateral donors whose preoccupations with macroeconomic stabilisation and debt repayment are at odds with the pressing need for post-war economic reconstruction and sustainable development.

    Without sustainable development there is no guarantee of peace and stability in the region. Indeed, a failure to address the pressing socio-economic and environmental needs can only result in a return to discord and strife. Economists tend to agree that high or increasing levels of military spending detract from economic growth in developing countries, especially over the long term. The limited studies tend to indicate that the defence industry, and defence expenditure as a whole, detract from economic growth, although the extent is debated. However, this conclusion obscures a number of issues.

    Firstly, GDP growth is not necessarily development. Uneven growth which marginalises certain groups, growth which focuses on wealth creation rather than the provision of social services, health and education, and jobless growth is not development. A far more useful indicator would be to compare improvement in the Human Development Index HDI l with military expenditure. It is common sense that countries which spend a lot on armaments will have less to spend on health, education and other social services. In part, this is happening.

    This is not necessarily a result of political elites coming to their senses: the causes include constant debt preventing the import of arms , donor pressures, the end of military client arrangements with the superpowers, and the implosion of states. Nevertheless, many developing countries spend a greater proportion of their GDP on defence than developed countries, although there are discrepancies. There is little correlation between military rule and military spending — civilian governments are often the biggest spenders.

    Why do some developing countries spend more on defence than others? It has been calculated that for one modern jet fighter, schooling could be offered to a million children. Surely this would be a better guarantee of security? There are no simple answers. Patronage, the international arms market, elite formations and ideology all playa part.

    Most developing countries are ruled by weak regimes which lack legitimacy and are marginalised in the world system. Furthermore, militaries have become powerful actors within weak states, as witnessed by the succession of coups in Africa. The dilemma is that, for development to occur, there needs to be a degree of stability and the state needs to be able to carry out some functions. If this is achieved though militarism or military dictatorship it usually proves anti-developmental. Development will depend on the evolution of a strong civil society and a democratic system in which human security is achieved.

    It is difficult to see how the poorest countries are ever going to reach the point where both state and human security requirements are met. While Africa has undergone a wave of democratisation, this is very fragile and periodic reversions to military intervention in politics appear inevitable. What of the defence force, and its possible role in socio-economic development and in delivering the RDP? A key aspect of the RDP is the development of human resources, and it is in this respect that South Africa is least competitive internationally. The military demobilisation and rationalisation process could assist in the development of human resources if soldiers are properly retrained and their skills converted for use in civil society.

    A successful historical example is the GI Bill passed in the United States after the Second World War, where demobilised soldiers were given educational credits to study at the academic or training institution of their choice. But there are considerable dangers inherent in demobilisation if former military personnel are not properly reintegrated into civil society.

    This includes training and education adult education and literacy , the provision of health facilities through the South African Medical Services, and the loaning of earth-moving or other construction equipment De Kock, The SANDF clearly has resources, equipment and human skills of use to the RDP, especially as much of it is underutilised due to the demilitarisation process. It also has a formidable logistics capability which has been used to excellent effect during times of crisis. Nevertheless, there are profound dangers, both for civil society and for the defence force.

    This detracts from its primary role of protecting the sovereignty of South Africa and its people. Prolonged exposure to such tasks will also, inevitably, have a politicising effect. Armies are not necessarily as efficient or as cost-effective as they might seem Ball, Military equipment is far more costly than civilian equipment and soldiers are often expensively trained — it is clearly not cost-effective to use armoured vehicles to bring in a potato crop. For these reasons, care should be taken at the outset to determine exactly under what conditions the defence force involves itself in the RDP.

    As with peacekeeping operations, it may be easier to get in than to get out, and unless objectives and time-frames are determined in advance, it could become a protracted and increasingly messy engagement. This cautious approach is government policy, as expressed in the White Paper on Defence Where surplus capacity is involved, it may be wise to look at conversion to civilian use.

    The SANDF is already engaged in negotiations with other government departments for the handover of land and facilities. The same can be done with some vehicles, equipment, and health and welfare facilities now surplus to requirements although many of these are unsuitable for civilian use or too expensive to maintain for these purposes.

    While the RDP cannot be delivered in a climate of lawlessness and disorder, it is evident that high levels of investment in security will deny resources to the RDP and hinder its implementation. Arguments for justifying defence expenditure on the grounds of RDP support are unsound. South Africa is committed to regional development and security, and regards the two as closely related.

    A central proposal of the RDP is that we cannot build the Southern African economy in isolation from its neighbours. If South Africa attempted to dominate its neighbours, it would restrict their growth, reducing their potential as markets, worsening their unemployment and causing increased migration to South Africa.

    If it seeks mutual co-operation it can develop a large, stable market offering stable employment and common labour standards in all areas RSA, Section 1. The SADC states will shape their political, security and defence policies in co-operation with each other. Many problems are shared and ignore borders: refugees, environmental degradation, trafficking in drugs and light weapons.

    The SADC has taken on political and security tasks, and economic development functions. An Organ on Politics, Security and Defence, functioning at presidential, ministerial and technical levels, was established during It was charged with a list of tasks, including:. The Inter-State Defence and Security Committee, an extensive network of committees overseeing defence, police and intelligence co-operation, forms the backbone of the Organ.


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    • The SADC has called for a new approach to security in which socio-economic development and the consolidation of democracy are seen as the key to addressing security threats over the long term. This approach was developed at a ministerial workshop in Windhoek, Namibia, during July , in which mechanisms to ensure human rights, arms control and disarmament, and conflict resolution were. However, the organisation has now settled on a far less elaborate structure.

      While it has the benefits of flexibility, it has been criticised by a number of South African non-governmental organisations for failing to institutionalise mechanisms for dealing with human rights violations. Despite its commitment to a new approach, it is likely that the SADC will fall into the habits of most regional organisations which have sought to combine security functions with development — to concentrate on state or regime security rather than human security.

      There is clearly a tension between a commitment to disarmament and a non-military approach to security, and a simultaneous commitment to developing capacity for mutual defence and peacekeeping. It remains to be seen how the SADC will manage this tension and in which way it will evolve. This should imply a continual move away from investment in defence. Nevertheless, most South Africans would argue that at least some defence capability should be retained, given domestic and regional requirements. Achieving the optimum balance between expenditure aimed at meeting the wider needs of human security, and expenditure on defence and policing to provide the stability needed for development, will not be easy.

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      Much will depend on an informed and transparent assessment of options and the consolidation of democratic processes. As indicated in Figure 1, the budget comprised a general defence account of R8 million and a special defence account of R1 million. A breakdown of those running costs is indicated in Figure 3. The special defence account was to be used for the acquisition of armaments and the purchase of ammunition, spares, etc. Military intelligence costs were met from the national defence budget, but the details were not disclosed.

      Defence property is the responsibility of the Department of Public Works. Even after allowing for that effect, the increase in general running costs amounted to 6,6 per cent. If allowance is made for that carry-forward, there is an actual increase of 11 per cent. However, the expenditure should be increased by funds rolled over from the previous year, which amount to R million. The amount made available to the SANDF has thus reduced from R10 million to R9 million, a decrease of only R million before adjustments that will inevitably be granted later in the year.

      Frequent reference is made by the Ministries of Defence and Finance to the substantial cuts in the defence budget since the s. However, it must be remembered that, during those years, the apartheid regime placed itself on a war footing and was engaged in internal and external military actions. The country has not merely returned to the state of preparedness that existed in the early s, when military expenditure was comparable with present levels, but to an absence of military threat.

      Defence expenditure should therefore be a small fraction of its s levels, let alone those of the s. The amount currently spent on the SANDF is a drain on government finance and on the economy as a whole. Resources need to be redirected to address the massive socio-economic inequities created by 46 years of apartheid government. The reconstruction and development of South Africa is essential for the establishment of peace and security. How could an amount of R9,6 billion be better spent?

      In terms of the national housing policy, the state subsidises new home owners by up to R15 , depending on their earnings Department of Housing, It is estimated that, at the end of , the housing backlog was 1,5-million units:. In addition, there were 1,3 million family units in traditional dwellings and, with national population growth, it is estimated that 2 million additional units will be required over the next ten years.

      Government is nevertheless only targeting 1 million houses in the five years ending It is estimated that, even without. Subsidies of R15 are regarded as inadequate and tend to leave home-owners excessively indebted. The economic multiplier effects that should be realised from housing are not being achieved. Increasing the subsidy to R15 would increase the cost to R5,5 billion per year. Government policy provides for ten years of compulsory schooling.

      The cost of meeting this objective over a five-year period is about R7,5 billion per year. Reports indicate differences in the cost per participant in providing appropriate training Joint Education Trust, Assuming a cost per participant of R2 and a take-up rate of 30 per cent, the cost of addressing the issue over a five-year period will be R0,4 billion per year.

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      About 5 million South African adults are functionally illiterate and potential participants in adult literacy and basic education provision Aitcheson, A government programme could be launched to remedy this situation over a five-year period. Assuming a learner-educator ratio and a 25 per cent take-up of the service, it is estimated that the cost of the programme will be R0,3 billion per year. The process of extending electricity connections to all South African homes is being partially addressed by Eskom.

      The costs of this programme are being met by cross-subsidies from electricity tariff payers. By the end of the programme in , Eskom estimates that only 30 per cent of rural South African houses will be electrified Eskom, During , the capital expenditure on rural and urban connections was R3 per connection Eskom, Most of these connections are not expected to be profitable in the long term.

      Furthermore, the capital costs of rural connections are considerably higher than those of urban connections. To extend electricity supply to a substantial majority of rural homes, higher capital outlays will be required Davis, With subsidies it has been estimated that the total annual disbursement will be about R1,7-billion per year ibid.

      The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry defines basic water and sanitation services as 25 litres of water per person per day, obtainable within metres from the dwelling, and one ventilated improved pit per household Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, The department estimates that 12 to 15 communities do not have adequate water and sanitation services.

      Government policy is to subsidise the cost of constructing basic services but not operating, maintenance or replacement costs. To meet the goal of providing universal basic water supply and sanitation services. The Reconstruction and Development Programme RDP emphasises the building of clinics, and ongoing staffing and management will represent a greater cost in the long run Republic of South Africa, Furthermore, the services provided at local authority clinics need to be extended so that comprehensive services are provided 24 hours a day.

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