September 2004

Reference A: Constitution of the Republic of South Africa

B: SANDF Military Strategy

C: Environmental Analysis (2004)

D: Force Employment Strategy (Draft Review)

E: African Battle Space (Draft)

F: SANDF Mission Concepts

G: DOD Short and Medium Term guidelines (Sept 2003)

H: HR Strategy 2010

I: White Paper on Defence (1996)

J: White Paper on Peace Missions

K: Defence Review (1998)

L: State of the Nation address (2004)

M: Minister of Defence and Deputy Minister’s budget vote speeches



1. Arising from the confirmation by the PDSC in June 04 of the Reserve Force as a strategic issue, this strategy for the development and maintenance of a transformed and viable Reserve Force, has been developed. Alignment with national policy on defence and with the Military Strategy has been a primary objective. The rationale or business case, for the existence of a viable Reserve Force, has also been analysed. These issues are discussed as a preamble to the strategy itself.

2. The strategy is presented below in three parts. Part 1 deals with the alignment of the Reserve Force Strategy with the Military Strategy and highlights the value which the Reserves add to the Military Strategy.

3. Part 2 deals with the strategy for the transformation and renewal of the Reserve Force.

4. Part 3 deals with the strategy for the development of supporting systems or enablers which will contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the Reserve Force as a viable, transformed and sustainable element of the SANDF’s capability, and to the viability of the Reserve Force system as a whole.


5. The requirements of national policy on defence as set out in the White Paper on Defence (1996) and the Defence Review (1998) are contextualized and aligned with the Military Strategy and the Force Employment Strategy in this section.

6. National Security. The Government’s approach to national security is all inclusive. It involves not only safety and security but also economic and social development, and it also links strongly to regional stability. In the context of a primarily defensive posture, the maintenance of a reserve force allows for a deterrent capability which has a low profile and thus will not be seen as an overt threat in the regional context. Furthermore, a reserve force allows greater participation by the citizens in the security of the country while also individually benefiting from the training and development opportunities offered by military service.

7. Constitutional Provisions. The Constitution provides that there will be a reserve force. This allows for a greater participation by the broad citizenry in matters of defence. The utilization of reserves provides the DOD with a greater capacity to execute military missions and, at the same, time enhances the ability of the DOD to contribute to other national objectives such as nation building, poverty alleviation, skills development through education and training, youth leadership and development. Furthermore, a greater participation by citizens in the military establishes a broad base of public support and national will for military missions, especially when these missions encompass objectives other than national defence.

8. The Strategic Environment

    1. In terms of Government’s strategic direction to defence, increasing demands will be made on the SANDF to support the promotion of security in the region and the continent. A viable Reserve Force will significantly increase the SANDF’s capacity and the options available to Government and the military. The availability of specialist skills and the expansion capacity inherent in the Reserves ensures sustainability of military operations.
    2. The application of the Reserve Force must not be seen in isolation of the Regular Force but rather as part of an integrated whole "one force". However, it is acknowledged that these two elements have different characteristics and consequently need to be approached differently with regard to service conditions, management, support, training and deployment.

9. Promoting Security. The shift of the SANDF’s priority toward operations promoting security requires the development of sustainable capacity within the defence budget allocation. To this end the concept of a relatively small Regular Force and sufficiently large Reserve Force, as the means to achieve this end, remains relevant. The expanded role of the SANDF in times of peace also confirms this approach and that the Reserve Force must be organised, trained and equipped in such a way that it is available for deployment alongside the Regular Force according to the demands placed on the SANDF.

10. Defence Against Aggression. Although there may currently be no foreseen conventional threat against the RSA, it is still incumbent on the SANDF to structure for its primary function; providing in the first instance, sufficient deterrence and secondly an expansion capability in time of need. To this end, the Reserve Force is critical. Apart from the lower cost, the advantage of primarily structuring this capability within the Reserve Force is the low profile it offers which is conducive to regional confidence building.

11. Support to the People. Conformance to the above will provide the inherent capacity for support to the people missions when required.

12. Other Defence Functions. The greater demands and diversity of application in the future will require a greater diversity of skills and knowledge. In many cases these skills may be sourced from the civilian occupations of Reserve Force members. The Reserve Force thus provides the repository for many of these skills which may be utilized individually or grouped into related capabilities.

13. Command and Management.

    1. The creation of posts and the utilization of reserves in command and staff functions at all levels, whilst being a transformational imperative, also increases capacity, promotes a Reserve Force perspective in planning and adds other skills to levels 2 and 3 of the DOD.
    2. The transformation of the Reserve Force in terms of representivity remains an imperative.

14. Sustainable Defence. The concept of relatively small pertaining to the Regular Force and sufficiently large pertaining to the Reserve Force remains relevant and is the primary tool in creating a cost effective defence capability. The exact nature of this relationship needs to be properly appreciated in terms of capability and capacity requirements, but in the main implies a larger Reserve Force.


15. The aim of this document is to provide the strategy, guidelines and objectives for the transformation and renewal of the SANDF Reserve Force in line with the foregoing discussion and the PDSC decision in June 2004.


16. The Reserve Force is a fully transformed, integral and deployable element of the SANDF enabling sustainable defence capabilities for the Republic of South Africa.


17. The Reserve Force strategy has three parts to it. Part 1 describes the alignment of this strategy with the military strategy and sets out the business case for the Reserves. Part 2 contains the considerations which guide the development of the Reserve Force as an element of the one or total force. Part 3 concerns the development of the Reserve Force system or "enablers" which will allow the Reserve Force to function effectively.

18. Main Role Players

a. The implementation of the strategy for transformation and renewal lies primarily in the domain of the services and divisions which provide forces for employment.

b. The provision of strategic direction and the development, maintenance and monitoring of the enablers lies primarily with CPP, the Reserve Force Division, Services Reserve Directorates and functional directorates.


19. Introduction. "The most difficult military problem to resolve is that of establishing a security system, as inexpensive as possible in time of peace, capable of transforming itself very rapidly into a powerful force in case of the danger of aggression." (Andre’ Beaufre)

20. The Strategic Issue. The PDSC confirmed the Reserve Force as a strategic issue in June 2004. The strategic issue is defined as follows: "The role which the Reserve Force must play in the provision of affordable defence capabilities has not been properly operationalised in the force design and structure or in force development plans""

21. Military Strategic Rationale. The role of the Reserve Force in the military strategy is depicted in the following diagram. The value which the Reserve Force adds is depicted in green and is expanded on in the subsequent paragraphs.

Diagram 1

22. Constitutional Imperatives. The Constitution requires that there will be a reserve force together with a regular force.

23. Executive Expectations. (White Paper on Defence, Defence Review and Parliamentary Records)These documents require a relatively small Regular Force coupled to a sufficiently large Reserve Force, for the purpose of achieving an adequate capability to execute military missions at an affordable cost.

a. The force must be sustainable in order to be viable.

b. Furthermore, it must be transformed in line with Government policy.

24. Military Strategic Concepts (Ways). In terms of the military strategic concepts a viable reserve provides the SANDF (and therefore also Government) with additional options and adds value in the following ways:

a. Strategic Positioning

i. Civilian skills are made available to SANDF.

ii. Civil/military relations and co-operation are enhanced.

iii. The required expansion capability of the SANDF is provided (military mobilization capacity)

iv. The required deterrent capability is provided (military mobilization potential).

v. National will and subsequent support for military missions by the population (fifth line); is directly impacted upon.

b. Selective Engagement

i. The Reserves dramatically increase the military options available, eg rapid deployment capability and expansion capacity which can be structured in terms of a ready/first line/second line reserve. The maintenance of such Reserves at differing states of readiness is an option which increases affordability. (See par 25.c for further explanation).

ii. The availability of specific skills, military or civilian, individually or as groupings, enhances options and capabilities in terms of this concept.


c. Mission Trained Force

i. Focused training on specific groupings for specific military missions improves affordability and increases options available.

    1. Other capabilities involving specific units or individuals can be developed, eg post conflict reconstruction/infrastructure restoration.
    2. The concepts of a ready reserve, first line and second line reserves further enhance focus and sustainability.

d. Mission Essential Training

i. This is a derivative of the above eg units or individuals trained for specific missions can be deployed without extensive pre-deployment training.

    1. Maintaining specific capabilities, which under present threat scenarios are unlikely to be deployed in the next 10 years, in the reserves is an affordable option.
    2. 25. Military Strategic Capabilities (Means) and their Implementation

      1. The Reserve Force should not be categorized as part of only light mobile or conventional capabilities as they can contribute to all military missions, including support functions as part of one force (see mission-based approach above). The inherent adaptability of the Reserve Force soldier allows for multi-skilling/rolling.
      2. Capabilities to execute missions that do not necessarily require a full time capability but which could become a SANDF responsibility in times of crises, can be seated in the reserves, eg:

i. Maintenance of a command and control structure and capability for support to the people missions.

ii. Rapid reaction capability by means of the strategic location of units and/or maintenance of a ready reserve. (Structured for the task)

iii. National key point protection.

iv. The capabilities to protect lines of communication.

v. Search and rescue.

vi. Harbour protection.

vii. Information warfare.

viii. The main thrust of the conventional capability of the SANDF could be seated in the reserves, especially under low threat scenarios.

c. Reserves can contribute to all other missions to a greater or lesser degree, eg:

      1. Rapid deployment capability through the maintenance of a ready reserve. Force providers’ structure and develop this as per J Ops requirements.
      2. Expansion capability with a limited lead time for mobilization and mission training through the maintenance of a first line reserve at a lesser cost than the ready reserve.
      3. Further expansion capability with a relatively long lead time for mobilization and retraining through the maintenance of a second line reserve, at minimal cost.
      4. All the above contribute significantly to the deterrent value of the SANDF.

d. Specialist military and or civilian skills can be provided individually or as groups, eg.

i. Medical.

ii. Legal.

iii. Engineering.

iv. Information and communication technology.

v. Town, city and infrastructure management.

vi. Specialist technologies and capabilities such as air traffic control.

vii. Third and fourth line sustainment.

viii. Special operations.


26. In this section, the main problem areas wrt the transformation and renewal of the Reserves are identified. Guidelines for the implementation of measures to give effect to the conclusions are set out in the Instruction for the Implementation of the SANDF Reserve Force Strategy.


27. The Budgetary Situation

    1. Problem Statement. The DOD budgetary constraints have resulted in the Reserve Force receiving the residue of the budget once the needs of the Regular Force have been met. The Reserve Force has not been invested in, in order to provide a more affordable option in the future.
    2. Conclusion. Services and Divisions to whom the above applies, must plan to allocate sufficient resources to enable renewal and transformation of their Reserves to take place in the medium term. The role which the Reserves must play and the value which they must add to the provision of capabilities as envisaged in Part 1, must be operationalised in the force design and force development plans.

28. Force Structuring

a. Problem Statement. There is no stable force design and structure to guide the development of Reserve Force elements. The force design is heavily biased towards current budget realities and the current size of the Regular Force. Furthermore the role that the Reserve Force can play in creating cost-effective and affordable defence capabilities has not been properly appreciated and operationalised.

b. Conclusions. The capability requirements of the SANDF should be the primary driver in the development of force design and structure. The relationship (ratio) between the Regular and Reserve Forces, as the primary tool toward affordable and therefore sustainable defence, must be appreciated in terms of short, medium and long term capacity requirements for all scenarios.

29. Relevance of the Reserve Service Model

a. Problem Statement. The current service model is based on a historical military and cultural paradigm and does not necessarily capture current community dynamics and profiles to the advantage of the SANDF.

b. Conclusions. The SANDF must develop the reserve service system to be accessible and to provide for the participative and developmental aspirations of young people (18 – 28) of all communities and which will provide material and collateral benefits to the SANDF, recruits and the country as a whole. To this end recruitment profiles and strategies must be revised and appropriate incentives devised to cater for differing requirements and perceptions within all communities.

30. Staffing the Reserve Force

a. Problem Statement. The MSDS as currently implemented (below target intakes) will not meet the HR strategy requirement to rejuvenate the Reserve Force in the short and medium term. Reserve Force units are below strength, their members are ageing and the leader group is not representative. Current recruitment of former selected Regular Force, NSF and Army Territorial Force members will not assist the age profile.

b. Conclusions. The MSDS will feed the reserves with the correct profile of personnel only if the intakes are substantially increased and maintained and if reserve force units are involved in MSDS recruitment. In the short to medium term, therefore, alternative measures will have to be taken to staff the units with young, fit and healthy troops and junior leaders. Furthermore, a plan to phase out personnel who no longer meet post profiles must be developed.

31. Transformation of the Reserve Force in Terms of Representivity

a. Problem Statement. The current leader group of the Reserve Force is not representative in terms of race and gender, whereas the troops tend to be largely black. Coupled to this is the lack of awareness amongst the black youth and current lack of interest amongst white youth in particular, regarding service in the SANDF. The SANDF has not been able to attract significant numbers from the former non-statutory forces into the Reserve Force, especially after taking into account the need to ensure the correct age profile of the Reserves.

b. Conclusions. Until the MSDS is fully functional, direct recruiting and training by units must continue and must be adequately funded. Recruitment should be done and financed against unit readiness schedules. In order to address the imbalances in the leader group, the implementation of a Reserve Training System (RTS) must be expedited. Measures to attract former non-statutory and statutory force members to the Reserves, must be taken in the short term. A program to identify and fast track potential leaders currently in the Reserves must be initiated. The SANDF must revise its marketing and recruitment strategies so that an appropriate balance is achieved and maintained. The Reserve Force itself must be involved in this process.

32. Training

a. Problem Statement. Training tends to be facility centric as opposed to learner centric and therefore not user friendly, not readily accessible and therefore not sufficiently inclusive for the Reserve Force. Transformation and operational imperatives can therefore not be achieved. Military training currently has little external value in terms of accreditation or recognition and many courses have not yet been broken down into shorter modules. The use of computer technology, simulators and distance learning methodologies are under-developed in the SANDF.

b. Conclusions. Training methodology must be adapted to increase accessibility and enhance in the short term, the ability of individuals to be fast tracked as well as enhancing operational employability. Courses should be modularized and nominations linked to unit readiness schedules and career planning. The cancellation of courses must be avoided to prevent unnecessary inconvenience to Reserves and their employers. Ways to expedite the accreditation of military training must receive priority.

33. Implementation. Guidelines and objectives to the Services and Divisions for the implementation of measures to give effect to the conclusions contained in Part 2 above, are given in the Instruction for the Implementation of the SANDF Reserve Force Strategy.





34. Whilst the responsibility for the development of a viable Reserve Force which is trained and deployable rests with the Services and Divisions which provide forces, the development of support systems which will enable the entire Reserve Force system to function, is the responsibility of the staff divisions.

35. This part of the strategy seeks to identify those enablers together with objectives to achieve them and to couple responsibilities and time scales for their achievement. The objectives are set out in detail in the Instruction for the Implementation of the SANDF Reserve Force Strategy.


36. In a voluntary military service system in which the use of Reserve Forces is envisaged, provision must be made for incentives for citizens to volunteer for part-time military service.

37. Measures which will encourage and motivate employers to release their employees for military training or service are also necessary.

38. The community at large, including organised labour, must support the military if a steady flow of volunteers is to be achieved which will make the system sustainable.

39. The development of support systems and incentives for both volunteers and employers must be relevant in the context of the situation in which the country and communities find themselves and may need to be adapted from time to time as needs and circumstances change.


40. Legal and Policy Environment

a. Problem Statement. The legal and policy environment currently offers very little protection to Reserve Force volunteers in terms of job protection and protection against legal action arising from financial obligations which cannot be met as a result of military service. The policy and procedures for the employment of the Reserves in PSOs is unclear leading to uncertainty as to their availability. The General Regulations to give effect to certain aspects of the new Defence Act are not yet in place.

b. Conclusions. Proposals to amend the Defence and/or Moratorium Acts to provide meaningful protection against discrimination or victimization of Reserve Force members must be developed and submitted for approval. The finalisation of General Regulations for the Reserve Force must be given priority and the contract which Reserve Force members are required to sign, aligned. Policy and procedures for the employment of Reserves in peacetime, and specifically in PSOs, must be developed in the short term.

41. Incentives for Reservists

a. Problem Statement. There are currently no meaningful incentives for Reserve Force service. The existing voluntary service annual bonus (R 704.68 less tax) is inadequate to serve as an incentive.

b. Conclusions. Proposals for meaningful incentives for Reserve Force members must be developed and benchmarked internationally. Attention must also be given to possibilities which hold no direct financial implication for the DOD eg, tax relief on Reserve Force pay. The feasibility of instituting a pension/provident fund for Reserve Force members must be investigated.

42. Incentives for Employers

a. Problem Statement. There are currently no incentives for employers to release Reserve Force members for military service or training. In fact many Reserve Force members are penalized, directly or indirectly, as a result of their commitment to the Reserves.

b. Conclusions. Proposals for incentives for employers of Reserve Force members must be developed and benchmarked internationally. The Council for the Support of National Defence (CSND) must actively support the SANDF in influencing employers and labour towards support of employees who are Reservists. The Reserve Force Council must assist the DOD in the effort to lobby for the institution of measures which may be proposed.




43. Employer and Community Support

a. Problem Statement. There is little support for Reserve Force members by their employers. There is also a lack of interest amongst the white youth in military service. Voluntary part-time service is not widely known or understood amongst all communities and is often seen as employment.

b. Conclusions. The CSND must be activated as soon as possible and must implement their mandate and objectives as set out in their constitution. The CSND must report back on a regular basis and their effectiveness must be monitored. The resources of SHIELD must focus on employer support (including other Government departments and parastatals) and creating awareness of and interest in service in the Reserves amongst all population groups.

44. Reserve Training System (RTS) (HR Strategy 2010 Objective)

    1. Problem Statement. The MSDS will not supply Reserve officers in specialist/professional musterings. There is also currently no incentive for high potential candidates to join the Reserves.
    2. Conclusion. The SANDF must develop a RTS which will provide an incentive for university/tertiary level students to join the Reserves in all musterings. Special focus must be given to students whose tertiary qualifications will be utilized in a SANDF mustering.

45. Voluntary Youth Induction System (HR Strategy 2010 Objectives)

    1. Problem Statement. There is currently very little knowledge amongst the youth of all communities about the SANDF as a career or as a part-time pastime. Many young people have no guidance iro good citizenship or subject choices at school with the result that there are insufficient candidates for the specialist musterings required by the defence force, and to maintain representivity quotas. There are sensitivities surrounding activities which could be construed as "militarising" the youth.
    2. Conclusion. The SANDF must develop a youth induction program/system which will stimulate interest in service in the SANDF amongst youth of all communities. The system must be voluntary and divorced from the education system. It should focus on providing guidance and skills such as leadership and initiative with minimum focus on military skills whilst stimulating awareness of and interest in the military. The desired end state should be that such a system provides a substantial number of the new recruits required for the Regular and Reserve Forces.


46. The Reserve Force Strategy as set out above can be illustrated in the following diagram which encapsulates the concepts therein. It is important to note the link and alignment to the Military Strategy and the value which the Reserve Force adds to the elements thereof:

Diagram 2: Reserve Force Strategy

47. Within the Military Strategy Concepts, a properly developed Reserve Force provides the SANDF with various additional options with regard to the application of those concepts. The same applies with the provision of additional options in the area of Military Strategic Capabilities. The end result is that Military Strategic Objectives can be pursued by employing the "one force" in whatever permutations may be appropriate to the objective in question.

48. Provided that the role which the Reserve Force can play in developing cost-effective and affordable capabilities is properly appreciated and operationalised in the force design and structure, the SANDF will be able to arrive at a more affordable force with the necessary capability and capacity requirements.

49. It is of cardinal importance to note that affordable and sustainable defence in the medium to long term will not be achieved without the investment and commitment required in the short term for the implementation of this strategy in conjunction with HR Strategy 2010. If this does not occur, neither the Regular nor the Reserve Forces will be able to provide deployable forces in sufficient numbers.