President Cyril Ramaphosa said the number of deployed soldiers would be reduced from 25,000 to 10,000.
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the deployment of members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) until mid September to assist police in maintaining law and order.
Ramaphosa said the number of deployed soldiers would be reduced from 25,000 to 10,000.
In a letter to the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Amos Masondo, Ramaphosa said the extension of deployment of SANDF members was for a period from August 13 to September 13.
“The expenditure expected to be incurred for this extended employment is R254,914,500,” he said.
In July, 25,000 soldiers were deployed from July 12 until August 12 following the outbreak of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Ramaphosa said the SANDF would work with the SAPS in the prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order in the country.
On August 5, the then Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told Parliament that the reduction of the deployed soldiers following the unrest was under consideration.
“As we talk right now, papers are on way to the president and will be sent to you for us to reduce the 25,000 to 10,000, so that the focus of troops is purely in provinces which are still calm, but volatile,” she said hours before her axing.
Mapisa-Nqakula said the provinces where deployment would remain were KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, as well as the Western Cape because of the taxi conflict.
She had made the statement when she and the chief of joint operations, Lieutenant-General Siphiwe Sangweni, briefed the joint standing committee on defence on the employment of 1,495 soldiers for service in fulfilment of the country’s international obligation to the SADC.
The SANDF was deployed to support the Republic of Mozambique in combating acts of terrorism by violent extremists that affected the area of Caba Delgado province.
Ramaphosa said the deployment of members of the SANDF was for the period starting from July 15 until October 15.
“The expenditure expected to be incurred for this deployment amounts to R984,368,057,” he wrote in his letter dated July 23.
– Political Bureau