Amid concerned whispers of a ‘military state’ in South Africa following the deployment of army officials in the parliamentary precinct during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday night, BusinessTech looks at the country’s military strength.
Data from Global Firepower (GFP) shows that South Africa’s military is ranked 46th out of 126 countries.
The list uses over 50 factors to determine a country’s Power Index score, with military data taken from the CIA World Factbook, public domain print and media sources and user contributions.
South Africa’s military force is ranked as the third strongest in Africa, below Egypt (18th) and Algeria (27th), but ahead of Nigeria (41st) and Ethiopia (46th).
The country is listed as having an active military force of 89,000 personnel, with 17,100 in reserve.
There are 14.1 million South Africans “fit” for service (meaning all citizens aged between 16 and 49).
According to DefenceWeb, the South African Army is the single largest component of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), getting a majority of the overall defence budget – R15.65 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.
South Africa’s military forces are broken down as follows:
ManPower: “Going beyond military equipment totals and perceived fighting strength is the actual manpower that drives a given military. Wars of attrition favor those with more,” Global Firepower.
|Available Manpower||26 000 000|
|Fit for Service||14 100 000|
|Reaching Military Age Annually||965 000|
|Active Frontline Personnel||89 000|
|Active Reserve Personnel||17 100|
Land Systems: Tank value includes Main Battle Tanks, light tanks and tank destroyers, either wheeled or tracked. AFV value includes Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).
|Armored Fighting Vehicles||2 265|
|Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems||50|
Air Power: Includes both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft from all branches of service.
|Fixed-Wing Attack Aircraft||17|
Naval Power: Aircraft Carrier value includes dedicated “helicopter carrier” vessels. Total naval strength includes all known auxiliaries as well.
|Total Naval Strength||30|
|Coastal Defense Craft||26|