President Cyril Ramaphosa has approved the extension of the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in the Indian Ocean.
This was confirmed in a statement by National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo, who received correspondence from Ramaphosa on Friday.
According to Parliament, the deployment is in fulfilment of an international obligation of the Republic of South Africa towards the South African Development Community (SADC) Maritime security.
The deployment is to counter the threat of piracy and other related illegal activities in the Indian Ocean.
“The extension, effective from 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, is done per the provisions of section 201(2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, read with section 93 of the Defence Act, 2002 (Act No 42 of 2002),” said Parliament.
Expected expenditure of R154m
“In his letter, the President has indicated that the number of SANDF members employed for this extension is two hundred (200) and is expected to incur an expenditure of R154 million.”
Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo will bring the letter from the President to the attention of the Members of Parliament through parliament’s official publications.
This comes two weeks after the end of the extension period of the deployment of the SANDF to support the police in “preventing and combating crime and preserving law and order” in South Africa.
Ramaphosa in January had authorised 2,700 SANDF personnel “for service in cooperation with the SA Police Service”.
This was another round of soldiers and police putting up a joint front to fight crime which started in 2019 when elements of the SA Army in the Western Care were used to support the police in anticrime operations on the Cape Flats.
The Western Cape deployment and subsequent ones saw soldiers providing perimeter protection to police engaged in search and seizure operations at fixed properties and roadblocks.