SlowApproach wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:56 am
bosvark wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:46 am
In today's world, do we need a navy?
Absolutely! One of its prime responsibilities in peacetime is policing our seawaters for- and protecting against illegal fishing activities - which are depleting (actually, completely destroying) our fish stocks like never before.
Sadly, yet another absolutely critical responsibility our Government is completely and utterly failing in.
It's a common misconception, but that's actually not the mandate of the SA Navy. The task of preventing and prosecuting illegal fishing belongs to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (DAFF) which has its own fleet of patrol ships for the task.
The SA Navy is permitted to assist DAFF in the monitoring and policing of our EEZ for illegal fishing, but only at DAFF's explicit request and according to their overall direction. For instance the SAN may not conduct enforcement against ships suspected of fishing illegally without having a DAFF inspector onboard.
The Navy's mandate, in basic terms, is to defend South Africa's waters against outside attack. Given that 90% of SA's trade comes via sea and an effective naval blockade would cripple the country's economy, that mandate alone is enough to justify its continued existence and level of funding.
Of course the Navy has other peacetime missions and roles including surveying, disaster response, search and rescue, and providing assistance to other departments like DAFF and the SA Maritime Safety Agency (SAMSA) as-needed, but those are secondary to its main purpose.
Incidentally the Navy is actually absurdly cheap for what we get in terms of capability.
The entirety of the Navy, including all ship acquisition costs, receives about R3.6 billion a year in funding.
Total government spending is R1.8 trillion, of which R684 billion goes to national departments, R612 billion goes to provincial governments, and R127 billion goes to local governments.
That means that at present paying for and maintaining the South African Navy's frigates, submarines, patrol vessels, sustainment ships, etc. costs just 0.2% of total government spending and 0.5% of national department spending.
Were the SA Navy to be fully funded as per its mandate, enough to keep all of its ships fully operational and maintained according to the set-down refit and maintenance cycle, we would need to spend around R6.8 billion a year, or 0.37% and 1% of total and national department spending respectively.
Whirly wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:34 am
Yes, and according to a Whatapp video showing a Naval Occifer, also to keep the sharks from attacking the swimmers!
I really hate the way this myth continues to exist. What the officer was explaining in the full unedited video was that strategic value of the SAN's submarines was in their value as deterrents
, using the analogy of sharks preventing people from swimming as a way to illustrate what deterrence means.
Unfortunately he didn't express himself that well on air, a consequence of being nervous and unused to speaking on live TV, so he jumbled his explanation. A few seconds after he clarified what he meant, but of course that was edited out of the video that's being sent around.
It's really easy to criticise someone in that position, but I've been there and believe me it's really, really easy even for someone like me who speaks English as a first language to fumble a sentence or two on live TV when nervous and under pressure. I'm just fortunate that I haven't had people spreading deceptive edits of those mistakes.