This is not time to count pennies on army deployment, says defence minister
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DEFENCE Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has warned that this was not the time to look at how much would be spent on the deployment of the army.
This came after MPs wanted to know whether the money spent on the army would come from its own budget or elsewhere, because the budget of the army has been cut to the bone in the past few years.
The National Treasury has cut the budget of the army, the police and other security cluster departments in the past few years.
But when President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed soldiers to quell the violence, he said the defence department must not worry about the cost.
In a letter to Parliament, Mapisa-Nqakula said they would spend more than R600 million on the deployment of the army.
MPs said they wanted to know about the budget for the deployment of the army.
But Mapisa-Nqakula said the president and the finance minister were fully aware of this.
“At the back of his mind with the Minister of Finance they know we have challenges. It was not the time to count the pennies and cents; it was time to move. You will recall this is not the first time we had a massive deployment,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
When the lockdown regulations were implemented last year, the government authorised the involvement of the army across the country.
Thousands of soldiers were deployed in various parts of the country.
Mapisa-Nqakula said when they deployed the army this time, they had to do it quickly because of the situation in the affected areas.