The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) ‘s secretariat core (General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary) and the leadership of the South African Security Forces Union (SASFU) met to discuss possible affiliation.
Poised as an alternative to the South African National Defence Union (SANDU), which the leadership of SASFU say is discredited by corruption that has plagued it and collaboration with the leadership of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the generals at SANDF refusing to recognise it despite meeting all the requirements.
It appears, according to SASFU leadership, that the SANDF’s determination to close out is informed by fear that the new leadership that is not in their pockets will expose the corruption that, combined with unjustified austerity, is wrecking the national defence force.
In 2022, the media reported that the SANDF did not have the ability to protect its bases, and by extension, the ability and capacity to protect the nation should there be military threat. Corroborated by the leadership of SASFU, the SANDF was not servicing its fleet of road, water, and air vehicles, resulting in shortage of trucks for forces to be able to do their duty. Its old infrastructure and equipment are rotting away, resulting in lack thereof. Forces are buying their own boots, and others are intermittently not receiving their meal allowance
The underlying cause for this sorry state of affairs at the SANDF is primarily neoliberal budget cuts, and secondly corruption of the leadership. In 2021/22, the budget for peace and security declined by R10 billion, and the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) of 2022 project the expenditure on peace to grow by a nominal 2,7% over the medium term.
The irregular and wasteful expenditures, combine with brazen acts of cheating the SANDF such as inflating number of deployments so that allocations can be ballooned for the benefit of corrupt generals. These hyenas worsen the state created by austerity.
On top of soldiers required to buy their boots and some not receiving their meal allowance for July 2021, workers in the national defence force have not even received any increase for 2022/23.
The meeting concluded that:
- SAFTU will support SASFU’s march to the Union Building on 22 February 2022,
- SAFTU will grant SASFU an associate membership