Peace support in Africa : potential contribution and roles of the South African Navy

Thiart, Theunis Johannes Daniel (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-12)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African Navy (SAN) was created after the First World War as an indigenous naval capability for South Africa was deemed necessary. Its roles and responsibilities through the years have depended on both the requirements of the state, and the political realities of the time. Possible future roles in peace support would therefore depend on political requirements as well as the capabilities and composition of the SAN. To date, the SAN has only contributed to peace support by way of the patrols carried out by the SAN Operations Boat Squadron on Lake Tanganyika, and assistance from the Maritime Reaction Squadron in VIP protection duties in Burundi. The seemingly minor nature of this contribution is disconcerting, because the contributions of the SANDF in present (ongoing) peace support are very highly rated by the South African Government. To enhance its visibility, the SAN should preferably play a more visible role in peace support in Africa, and generally in assisting in the maintenance of good order at sea around the African coastline. The potential contributions to or during peace support activities should therefore not only be seen as the direct support which the SAN can give to land forces carrying out peace support in a specific country, but also the support the SAN can give to maintaining good order in the corresponding, and other African, maritime zones. Potential contributions and roles of the SAN in particular therefore need to be interrogated more comprehensively to foster a deeper understanding of this unexplored field of study within the peace support environment, and that of Africa in particular. To determine the possible contributions and roles of the SAN, the traditional roles and the doctrines of navies (specifically those involved in peace support operations) were investigated. It was found that the roles emanating from the traditional roles for navies were assimilated into navies. doctrines, roles and tasks. Possible roles and missions for the SAN are reflected in the SAN Maritime Doctrine. Regional expectations have added more roles and missions like the sharing of training, assets, expertise, information, the requirement of maintaining maritime security and the maintenance of good order at sea. The assets available in the SAN (and the future assets) seem to be adequate to carry out possible peace support activities. However, the potential roles and contributions of the SAN to peace support will be limited by the scope of future budgets and the shortages of skills, equipment and capacity. The foreseen budgets available will not allow participation in activities beyond those being undertaken at present. Unless more funding is received, the potential roles and contributions of the SAN towards peace support activities in Africa will probably not extend beyond some lake patrols and VIP protection.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid Afrikaanse Vloot (SAV) het na die Eerste Wêreld Oorlog tot stand gekom omrede so 'n inheemse vloot as broodnodig vir Suid Afrika beskou was. Die SAV se rol en verantwoordelikhede was deur die geskiedenis gerig deur die behoeftes van die regering van die dag en van die politieke oorwegings van die oomblik. Toekomstige verantwoordelikhede vir vredesteun sal insgelyks afhang van politieke oorwegings, sowel as die aard van, en bates beskikbaar vir, die SAV. Tot dusver was die SAV bydrae aan vredesteun beperk tot patrollies deur die SAV Operasionele Booteskader op die Tanganjika meer in Burundi, en bystand deur die Maritieme Reaksie Eskader met BBP werk in Burundi. Hierdie geringe bydraes is onstellend omrede vredesteun pogings belangrik geag word deur die Suid Afrikaanse regering. Die SAV sal dus 'n groter rol in vredesteun in Afrika moet speel, en veral in die instandhouding van goeie orde op see, ten einde beter sigbaarheid te bewerkstellig. Die potensiële SAV bydraes aan vredesteun aktiwiteite moet dus nie slegs gesien word in die direkte SAV steun aan landmagte betrokke by vredesteun in een of ander land nie, maar ook in die bydrae tot die instandhouding van goeie orde in die ooreenkomstige maritieme omgewings in Afrika. Potensiële SAV bydraes moet daarom in diepte ontleed word ten einde 'n beter insig te vekry in die maritieme streke (veral in Afrika) waar tot dusver maar min navorsing gedoen is. Om hierdie potensiële bydraes te bepaal, is die tradisionele rol en doktrines van vlote (veral die wat betrokke is by vredesteun) ondersoek. Daar is bevind dat die huidige doktrines, rol en take van vlote voortgevloei het uit die tradisionele rol van vlote. Moontlike rolle en bydraes van die SAV is reeds beskikbaar in die SAV Maritieme Doktrine (2006). Verdere moontlike bydraes spruit voort uit die verwagtinge van die verskillende streke in Afrika soos die deelname in Suid Afrikaanse opleiding, kundigheid en informasie, en die behoefte aan instandhouding van maritieme veiligheid en goeie orde op see. Die huidige en toekomstige bates van die SAV (insluitende skepe, eenhede en personeel) blyk voldoende te wees om by te dra tot moontlike vredesteun aktiwitiete. Die moontlike bydraes sal egter beperk word deur ontoereikende toekomstige begrotings en tekortkominge met betrekking tot kundigheid, toerusting en kapasiteit. Trouens, die huidige en toekomstige begrotings is ontoereikend vir verdere vredesteun bydraes buiten dit wat tot dusver gelewer word. Sonder 'n toename in die begroting sal die vredesteun pogings van die SAV beperk bly tot patrollies deur die SAV Operasionele Booteskader op die Tanganjika Meer, en bystand deur die Maritieme Reaksie Eskader in BBP werk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5335
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