oa Africa Insight - South Africa's military potency: too lean or too mean?

Volume 32, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



During the early 1990s South Africa saw the demise of the apartheid political system. AI the same time the country, like most of the world, witnessed a reduction in defence expenditure: the defence budget was cut by 50% in real terms between 1989 and 1997. This is widely believed to have had serious implications in terms of the maintenance of bases and equipment and for the ability of the military to perform its primary and secondary functions - and ultimately for force readiness. Yet, some analysts and commentators still see South Africa as ""relatively highly militarised"" with a ""large military strength"".

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