SA army needs more whites – Defence Minister Mapisa-Nqakula

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PARLIAMENT (ANA) – Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has ordered the SA National Defence Force to recruit more whites to the army.

Mapisa-Nqakula made the announcement during a media briefing ahead of tabling her budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

“When I look at the entry levels, of the army, the younger ones you see that if you go into a hall…you can literally count…how many white young people are coming into the force,” she said.

“That’s a matter of concern because we want to build the kind of defence force which in five years will still continue to reflect the demographics of our society.”

Mapisa-Nqakula has tasked the SANDF to develop a recruitment strategy targetting under-represented groups.

“I think that it’s important that when we engage with people we should continue to talk to them about how…. we used to have the South African Defence Force [SADF] and now we have the SANDF consisting of statutory and non-statutory forces – well integrated and that we’ve gone through a very painful process in the country and that we should never find ourselves in a situation where we have a defence force which is imbalanced…,” she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula announced she would be raising the retirement age for SANDF staff from 60 to 65.

“I don’t know why on earth we developed a regulation which directs us to get our people to retire at the age of 60,” she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula said there was no need to change the law, but she would alter regulations to  effect the new retirement age.

“My view is the younger generation does not have an appreciation of how we have reached this point. Only people who have that kind of experience is those of you who went through this process of integration in 1994,” said the minister.


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