South African National Defence Force

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South African National Defence Force
Current form1994 - present
Service branchesSouth African Army
South African Navy
South African Air Force
South African Military Health Service
HeadquartersPretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Commander-in-ChiefJacob Zuma
Minister of Defence and Military VeteransNosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Chief of the South African National Defence ForceGeneral Solly Shoke
Military age18-49
Available for
military service
10 354 769 males, age 18-49 (2005),
10 626 550 females, age 18-49 (2005)
Fit for
military service
4 927 757 males, age 18-49 (2005),
4 609 071 females, age 18-49 (2005)
Reaching military
age annually
512 407 males (2005),
506 078 females (2005)
Active personnel67,373
Reserve personnel15,107[1]
Budget$US 4.572 billion[2]
Percent of GDP1.1% (2010-2011)
Domestic suppliersDenel, Reutech Radar Systems, Thales, Paramount Group
Foreign suppliersBAE Systems, Saab AB, ThyssenKrupp, AgustaWestland

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is the military of South Africa.

The SANDF is made up of four branches: the South African Army, the South African Navy, the South African Air Force, and the South African Military Health Service (formerly the South African Medical Service).

The Commander-in-Chief of the military is the President of South Africa, currently Cyril Ramaphosa.[3] The Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans, currently headed by Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is in charge of political leadership. Military command is in the hands of the General Staff, headed by the Chief of the South African National Defence Force, who is General Solly Shoke.

Annual game counting by SANDF

The history of the SANDF can be traced back to 1912, with the establishment of the Union Defence Force (UDF). In 1957, the Union Defence Force was renamed to the South African Defence Force (SADF). The SADF fought a bloody guerrilla war against the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO) and the African National Congress in South West Africa (now Namibia). SADF forces were also involved in the Angolan Civil War. In 1994, the South African Defence Force was combined with the ANC's Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the PAC's Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA), several Bantustan defence forces, and the self protection units of the Inkatha Freedom Party to form the South African National Defence Force.

Since 1994, South Africa has been trying to develop its military into a professional, well trained and mobile military. The SANDF currently plays a role in peacekeeping in the African continent, in countries such as the DRC and Burundi.

References[change | change source]

  1. "South Africa". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  2. "National Treasury".
  3. "Government Leaders | South African Government". Retrieved 2022-03-10.