South Africa cuts defence budget

27 February 2018

The South African budget announced on 21 February included the first nominal cut for defence spending since the massive reductions of the early 1990s, with a 1.4% decrease from ZAR48.6 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year (FY) to ZAR47.9 billion (USD4.1 billion).

This represents a 5.5% reduction on the previous budget’s plan to spend ZAR50.7 billion on defence in FY 2018/19. The new budget stated that this figure will now be reached in FY 2019/20 and increase to ZAR54.0 billion in 2020/21.

The discrepancy between the 2018/19 spending plan announced last year and the budget announced this year leaves the army with 5.25% less money than it was expecting, the air force with 10.2% less, and the navy down 9.6%.

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