SANDF members to receive salary increases

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pretoria - Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will receive salary increases as of this month, says President Jacob Zuma.

Addressing a National Reconciliation Day gathering at Freedom Park on Wednesday, the President said that the country wants to invest in the development of the Defence Force and young people who are drawn to the force.

"Therefore, as Commander-in-Chief of the SANDF, it is my pleasure to announce increases in the salaries of members of the SANDF, who are on salary levels 2 to 12, from privates to colonels or the occupational class of military practitioner," said Zuma.

The increases which range from 2 to 65 percent are effective as of 1 December 2009.

"We want a Defence Force that will recapture and rekindle the spirit of patriotism, selflessness and love for the people of our country," he said.

He said that the interim Defence Service Commission had pointed out that members of the SANDF were disadvantaged when coming to salary negotiations since 2001 and that this negatively affected the lives and morale of soldiers.

"They have been remunerated at the same level as the general public service which has made them to lag behind in remuneration packages. The Commission has recommended the short-term relief of bringing the SANDF on par with the South African Police Service," he said.

Zuma said South Africa was building a Defence Force that will bring back pride and attract many young men and women to the calling of this nature; and above all, a Defence Force whose morale and discipline will inspire all South Africans.

He emphasised government's intention to continue improving the working conditions of the soldiers. "We trust that the intervention will assist to improve the living conditions of our dedicated and highly committed soldiers."

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu would provide more detail on the implementation of this announcement at a later stage.