The Budgetary and Welfare Consequences of Security Co-operation in the Southern Hemisphere: A South African Perspective

Roux, A. (1997)

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Journal Article

The end of the Cold War, new global circumstances, and the democratisation process in South Africa have resulted in a transformation of the way in which defence matters in this country are evaluated and approached. From 1960 to the end of the 1980s defence spending decisions in South Africa were largely influenced by non-economic considerations, such as the perceived need to protect national values from foreign aggression and internal threats to stability, the ideological inclination of the government of the day, and a sense of inertia and incrementalism in respect of defence budgets. However, since 1989 the greater unlikelihood of an imminent foreign act of conventional aggression against the country and the advent of multi-party democracy, have served to highlight the possible trade-off between defence and socio-economic welfare (the so-called 'guns versus butter' debate). Indeed, since the end of the 1980s real defence expenditure in South Africa has declined by almost 60 percent, while the defence burden (defence expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product) has fallen to below 2,0 percent.

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