The need for progress in an era of transformation : South African professional military education and military effectiveness

Esterhuyse, Abel ; Mokoena, Benjamin (2018-04-20)

CITATION: Esterhuyse, A. & Mokoena, B., 2018. The need for progress in an era of transformation : South African professional military education and military effectiveness. Stability, 7(1):6, doi:10.5334/sta.610.

The original publication is available at https://www.stabilityjournal.org

Article

The article explores the link between defence sector reform, military effectiveness, and education. During the post-1994 transition, defence sector reform in South Africa primarily involved the ‘transformation’ of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The transformation of the military, though, was predominantly driven by the notion of racial representation with little emphasis on embedding military effectiveness as a central element of the transformation effort. While, education was recognised as a key element in the transformation of the military, the emphasis was on the programmes of the National War and Defence Colleges in Pretoria, targeting senior military officers. However, the accreditation of these institutional programmes through alignment with civilian universities was problematic and has forced the military to critically evaluate the pathway for the development of its officer corps. The evolving approach of the SANDF towards military education provides a useful case study to highlight the importance of a long-term view of military effectiveness, underpinned by a committed and educated officer corps, as a central component of defence reform initiatives.

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