Reports last year stated that the South African National Defence Force was forced to start retrenchments because of bankruptcy.
The Sunday Times reported that the armed forces start with retrenchments following Finance Minister Pravin Gordan's announcement in February 2016 that the wage bill would apparently be decreased by at least R25 billion over the next three years.
What does this mean for the SANDF and the work they do?
Azania Mosaka spoke to defence analyst and consultant, Helmoed Heitman.
While it denied the claims that it will cut 16 000 jobs, Heitman says the defence force has been in decline over the years.
Heitman explains what has led to concerns and the challenges facing the SANDF.
The defence force as a whole cannot get rid of the old guys because there is no real exit mechanism, what do they do when they leave? The are unemployed.— Helmoed Heitman, Defence Analyst & Consultant
They can’t get young guys because there is not enough money to hire the young guys on top of the old people they have.— Helmoed Heitman, Defence Analyst & Consultant
Heitman says logistical challenges need to be taken into consideration.
The government needs to decide what defense force it wants— Helmoed Heitman, Defence Analyst & Consultant
Does South Africa intend to play a regional security role in that case we have to up the defense budgets so we buy the aircrafts, we buy the ships, we hire more people.— Helmoed Heitman, Defence Analyst & Consultant
Or do we just want to look after our own borders and have a sort of fire brigade type force for emergencies cause then it can become that.— Helmoed Heitman, Defence Analyst & Consultant
I have done the homework on it but that’s about 30 and 50 000 jobs that would have to go.— Helmoed Heitman, Defence Analyst & Consultant
Listen to the full interview below...