The United Nations (UN) has paid South Africa a cool R728 million for its peacekeeping efforts.
This was revealed by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, during his recent mid-term budget speech. According to the address, South Africa’s Department of Defence (DoD) earned a much-needed payday for its involvement in peacekeeping efforts on the African continent.
National Defence force of South Africa needs the cash
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) recently bemoaned severe budget cuts which have crippled the military’s effectiveness. General Solly Shoke, Chief of the SANDF, lambasted government’s lacklustre attitude to the needs of the nation’s military force.
According to Shoke, the army received less than 1% of South Africa’s GDP, while most other nation’s devoted between 1.5% and 2% to their country’s militaristic needs.
The defence minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, confirmed that the SANDF’s budget was cut by R5.8 billion in 2018 along. This latest budget cut follows a series of similar financial blows and has left the SANDF unable to acquire armaments and provide adequate training for recruits.
SANDF in the Democratic Republic of Congo
As reported by DefenceWeb, the UN has reimbursed the South African government with R728 million for the country’s participation in “various peacekeeping and other missions”.
This payment, which will be placed into the National Treasury’s B7 account, is a result of the SANDF’s involvement with the United Nations’ Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
The SANDF has been actively involved in the peacekeeping mission since 2001. Yet, South African troops in the DRC have been thrust into controversy following allegations of rape and misconduct. SANDF troops have been accused of SEA (sexual exploitation and abuse) on several occasions since 2015.
Defence Force hopes to get its hands on the R728 million
In light of the recent budget cuts, which have hampered the SANDF’s operations and infuriated army officials, the defence force will hope to get a financial boost through the UN’s most recent reimbursement.
However, while Treasury’s B7 account is reserved for funding broad-spectrum military operations, including health care and education, access to the funds is notoriously hard to achieve.
The decision to allocate funds directly to the SANDF rests in the hands of Mboweni, who will engage with Mapisa-Nqakula and Shoke on the matter.
By: The South African