17 September 2020 - NW1998
Marais, Mr S to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
(1)Whether she has been informed of the (a) closure of the 4 Parachute Battalion at Bofulanare, Mafikeng, and (b) re-establishing of these as 2nd Regular Parachute Battalion at Bulembu, Eastern Cape; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so; what are the strategic benefits of the specified closure and re-establishment given the expected resettlement cost of approximately R10 to R20 million; (2) given the financial and budget deficit of her department and the SA National Defence Force, how does she justify the expense which can be regarded as non-essential in this period?
1. No, as no ministerial authority has been obtained, yet. (a) there can be no closure of 4 Parachute Battalion as it was never established in Bofulanare, Mafikeng and (b) No, the establishment of a Parachute Battalion in Bulembu, Eastern Cape, is yet to obtain ministerial authority, the project is currently at a feasibility study stage and its strategic benefits will be made visible on the conclusion of the feasibility study.
2. While the SANDF is cognisant of the prevailing budgetary constraints, it has the Constitutional mandate to deliver on the protection of the country, its territorial integrity and its people, therefore, the conduct of this feasibility study is in the spirit of fulfilling this mandate.