Godongwana must fund peacekeeping missions

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. Picture: Independent Newspapers Archive

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. Picture: Independent Newspapers Archive

Published Feb 20, 2024


As Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana prepares to deliver the Budget speech this week, the tragic loss of two SANDF personnel and the injury of three others in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) conflict serve as a stark reminder of the critical need to bolster South Africa’s defence capabilities.

It’s imperative that Minister Godongwana prioritises increasing the SANDF budget to ensure the readiness and effectiveness of our armed forces, both in defending our nation and contributing to peacekeeping efforts on the continent.

Over the years, the defence budget has experienced cuts, resulting in a weakened SANDF. These reductions have compromised our ability to adequately defend our borders against potential threats and fulfil our obligations in peacekeeping missions. The recent events in the DRC underscore the urgency of addressing this issue.

Some may argue that South Africa has no business getting involved in other people’s wars. Such a view fails to recognise the interconnectedness of our continent. Political instability in neighbouring countries poses a direct threat to our own security and stability.

Ignoring conflicts like the one in the DRC could have dire consequences for South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa must recognise the importance of strengthening our soldiers’ ability to participate in peacekeeping operations.

This requires more than just sending troops; it demands proper training, equipment, and support.

Failure to invest in our defence forces not only jeopardises the safety of our nation but also dishonours the sacrifices made by those who serve.

Sending young men and women into harm’s way without proper support is unacceptable. It’s a betrayal of their trust and a failure of leadership.

Godongwana must use this opportunity to allocate sufficient funds to the SANDF. By providing our soldiers with the resources they need, we demonstrate our dedication to being a responsible and proactive member of the international community.

It’s time for our government to prioritise the safety and well-being of our armed forces and ensure they have the support they need to carry out their duties effectively.

Anything less would be a disservice to our country and those who defend it.

The Mercury