1. The Military Strategy determines that the SANDF must withdraw from sustained support to the SAPS by 31 March 2009 and that the SANDF will only support the SAPS in future with intelligence driven operations of short duration and with specialist capabilities, eg air lift and naval vessels.
  2. During the Cabinet Lekgotla of January 2003, the proposal was made that the existing SANDF Commando System should be abolished and replaced by a SAPS capability. This proposal was activated through the following instructions issued by C SANDF on 11 May 2003:
    1. C SANDF Instruction 01/03: Phasing out of Commandos.
    2. C SANDF Instruction 02/03: Withdrawal from Support to the SAPS and Borderline Control.
    3. C SANDF Instruction 04/03: Staffing of SANDF members in the SAPS's Protection and Security Division (It includes guidelines regarding ATR volunteers for the SAPS Reserves).


  3. To brief the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Defence on the progress made with the withdrawal from support to the SAPS with specific reference to the phasing out of commandos.


  5. SAPS Capabilities. The SAPS approach for the future is to establish and enhance the following capabilities:
    1. National Intervention Crime Combating Unit(s). A centralised Permanent/ Reserve Capability will be established to enable the SAPS to act as force multiplier over provincial boundaries as required.
    2. Area Crime Combating Units
      1. The capability will be utilised for:
        1. Border line control in provinces with an international border, and
        2. Deployment across police station boundaries in support of stations.

      2. The capacity will be increased with a substantial number of SAPS Reserve members.
      3. Force levels will vary from station to station in accordance with needs.

    3. Sector Policing
      1. The capability will be geographically demarcated in management blocks.
      2. It will be active in the urban as well as rural areas.
      3. The active participation of communities will be obtained through the utilisation of Reservists.
      4. A substantial number of reservists are required for this capability (" 75 000 - 80 000).

    4. Security and Protection Division. A Security and Protection Division will be established, mainly for the security of static installations. This Division will consist predominantly of permanent SAPS members.

  6. SAPS Approach
    1. Reservists will be recruited, trained and deployed from 2004/05 onwards to 2008/09 to increase capacity.
    2. The SAPS will concentrate on 340 stations responsible for 80% of violent crime.
    3. Members in the commando system are an identified source of recruitment for SAPS Reservists.
    4. The implementation approach will be to deploy SAPS elements as soon as possible when the capacity exists, implying that the SAPS and SANDF will co-deploy while the SAPS is building capacity.


  7. The SANDF is to refocus from sustained support to the SAPS to support to the Government's peace initiatives in the region.
  8. The SANDF will hand over missions in support of the SAPS in a phased approach which started on 1 April 2003 and to be completed by 31 March 2009.
  9. The future concept of support to the SAPS will be:
    1. The SANDF will deploy for short periods with specialised assets for intelligence driven operations.
    2. The SANDF will use its inherent capabilities (Reg F and Res F).
    3. A concept of selective engagement will determine the level of SANDF participation.
    4. The SAAF and SA Navy will continue to support where the SAPS lacks capability (Air Lift and Sea Patrols).
    5. Forces will deploy under op comd of J Op HQ and J Tac HQs.

  10. Joint Ops Centres for liaison will replace the present J Tac HQs after withdrawal from support to the SAPS (Beyond 2009).

  12. The SANDF/SAPS workgroup will concentrate on the following aspects:
    1. Revisit the criteria for SAPS reservists and the members of the SAPS Security and Protection Division.
    2. Determining inter-service transfer criteria for Reg F members and Res F volunteers.
    3. Identifying Reg F individuals for the Security and Protection Division.

  13. The SA Army will concentrate on the criteria for Army Territorial Reserve volunteers for the Army Conventional Reserves.


  15. A workgroup has been established between the SANDF and the SAPS to determine the SAPS Entrance and SANDF Exit Strategy to implement the guidelines and decisions of Cabinet and the DOD.
  16. The workgroup consists of the following:



    J Ops

    Comm Team


    Res F Div


    HR Work Gp


    Border Line Control Work Gp (SAPS)

    Rural Safety Work Gp (SAPS)

    Combat Crime Work Gp (SAPS)

    Equestrian/ Canine Work Group (SAPS)



    1. The SAPS and SANDF (CJ Ops) alternatively chair the Steering Committee.

    2. The SAPS, except for the HR Workgroup, chair the Workgroups.

    3. Urban Commandos will be addressed within the Rural Safety Work Group.



  18. The SA Army is actively participating in the discussions between the SANDF and SAPS and is represented on all the workgroups, except for the Combat Crime Work Group.
  19. Guidelines received by the SA Army from the Minister of Defence, C SANDF the PDSC, MC and C Army to ensure the smooth transition from the present status quo regarding support to the SAPS to the future end state were the following:
    1. The SA Army is to address not only the phasing out of commandos, but that of the Area Defence Capability of the SA Army. However, the SA Army is to ensure that the conventional capabilities of the SA Army will have the capacity during Stage 2 of the Force Employment Strategy to provide the required force levels for the missions of Support to the People. The Area Defence Capabilities to be disbanded are:
      1. Gp HQs.
      2. The Commandos.
      3. 12 SAI (Canine/Equestrian Capability).

    2. The Missions in Support to the People must be executed by the Reg and Res F conventional units, but predominantly by Res F units. Units will only be employed in intelligence driven operations of short duration.
    3. The Area Defence Capability is to be phased out by 31 March 2009. The phasing out of the Area Defence Capability must be conducted over a period of time (a phased approach) based on established SAPS capabilities and capacity.
    4. The SANDF (SA Army) must endeavor to relinquish areas of responsibility, instead of closing commandos and allocating the area of responsibility to another commando.
    5. The SA Army is to continue to sustain and maintain the commandos until such time that a commando is phased out.
    6. Suitable/applicable force levels must be provided to comply with the required force levels.
    7. The SA Army is to assist members from the Army Territorial Reserves (ATR) who wish to voluntary join the SAPS Reserves. The SA Army is to actively recruit members on a selected basis from the ATR for the Army Conventional Reserves. (ACR)
    8. The SA Army is to support CJ Sup in the selection and transfer of selected Reg F members to the SAPS.
    9. The SA Army is to endeavor to close 40 - 60 Commandos and the applicable Command and Control in the short term.

  20. Concept. The SA Army is to execute the following to assist the smooth transition of the responsibility of support to the SAPS:
    1. As priority the SA Army must finalise the withdrawal of self-accounting status of FSEs of the Area Defence Capability. The withdrawal of self-accounting status must include stocktaking of weapons, ammunition, vehicles and signal equipment. The SA Army is to report regularly to SANDF fora on the status of the stocktaking on weapons, ammunition, vehicles and signal equipment.
    2. The SA Army is to prepare itself to partake in the deliberations between the SANDF and SAPS through the classification of commandos that could be closed in the short/medium term to long term (2009).
    3. Gp HQs are to be scaled down to comply with the responsibilities of force preparation only.
    4. The SA Army Res F Force Design is to be finalised.
    5. The capacity of ACR FSEs is to be enhanced to enable the fulfillment of all assigned missions.
    6. Criteria for the identification of and voluntary transfer of members of the ATR to the ACR must be compiled.
    7. Determine and ensure the composition, location and combat readiness of equipment for the missions of Support to the People.

  21. Progress
    1. Classification of Commandos. The SA Army has concluded an exercise to classify the commandos according to certain criteria.
      1. Factors. The factors considered were the under mentioned.
        1. Force Employment Commitments.
        2. Force Preparation.
        3. Command and Control.
        4. Current Structure Composition.
        5. Force Support and Sustainment.

      2. Derived from above factors, commandos were classified and were the results the following:
        1. Inactive Commandos: 28.
        2. Less active Commandos: 39.
        3. Active Commandos: 116.

    2. Rural Safety Work Group Work Session. On 23 and 24 October the SAPS and SANDF had a work session where information were exchanged and a future approach was determined. The results of the work session were the following:
      1. The SAPS and SANDF (CJ Ops) will utilise the SA Army model utilised to classify the commandos to determine commando participation in support to the SAPS.
      2. The result of above exercise and the results of C Army's commando classification will be integrated to determine the priorities for establishing SAPS Sector Policing capabilities and the phasing out of commandos.
      3. The aim remains the phasing out of all commandos by 2009 and the short term phasing out of 40-60 Commandos.
      4. The SAPS to give further guidelines in this regard by January 2004.

    3. Withdrawal of Self-Accounting Status of Commandos.
      1. The self accounting status of all commandos are presently in the process to be withdrawn. This process will facilitate the closure of commandos.
      2. The process is 80% completed all discrepancies regarding weapons, ammunition and equipment are addressed by means of Boards of Inquiries or other formal investigations and rectified. The process, including a clear picture on the status on weapons, ammu and equipment, will be completed by July 2004.

    4. Equestrian/Canine Work Group. After initial discussions between the SANDF and SAPS, the first formal meeting will take place on 2 December 2003. This meeting will determine SAPS requirements regarding the Canine and Equestrian capabilities and the transfer of certain of these SANDF capabilities to the SAPS.
    5. Communication
      1. The SANDF/SAPS Steering Committee has determined that a Joint SAPS/SANDF Communiqué regarding the SAPS Entry/SANDF Exit Strategy must be issued before the end of the year.
      2. C Army has issued an internal communiqué regarding the phasing out of the Area Defence Capability of the SA Army on 3 October 2003.


  22. The establishment of a SAPS Withdrawal and SANDF Exit Strategy is progressing well and can more substantiated results in terms of SAPS force levels establishment and SANDF withdrawal of force levels coupled to time lines be expected in the near future.







MCDN/SB (Joint Parliamentary Com of Def 18 Nov 03)