Ramaphosa wants 73,000 more soldiers on SA streets, costing R4.59bn

SANDF troops patrol hostels in Johannesburg to enforce the lockdown.
SANDF troops patrol hostels in Johannesburg to enforce the lockdown.
Image: Sunday Times/Alon Skuy

President Cyril Ramaphosa is reportedly set to deploy over 73,000 more soldiers onto SA's streets, at a cost of R4.59bn.

This was revealed in a letter to MPs sitting in the defence portfolio committee.

DA leader John Steenhuisen and MP Dean Macpherson both shared the letter on Twitter. MPs from two other political parties also confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

The reason for the extra deployment, said Ramaphosa, is because the number of coronavirus infections continues to increase in SA, despite the nationwide lockdown. 

As of Tuesday, there were 58 deaths from Covid-19 and 3,465 confirmed cases.

“On March 25 I authorised the employment of 2,820 members of the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) for a service in cooperation with the South African Police Service in order to maintain law and order, support other state departments and to control our border line to combat the spread of Covid-19 in all nine provinces,” wrote Ramaphosa.

“The outbreak of Covid-19 continues to increase, with reported cases across the Republic of South Africa. As a result I have decided ... to employ an additional 73,180 members of the SANDF, consisting of the regular force, reserve force and auxiliary force.

“The employment of the additional members of the SANDF is for the period of April 2 to June 26.”


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