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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