The defense was previously based on general military
duty. Gradually, it was transformed into an acquired squad
by integrating the old defense force and the ANC's military
branch. A significant reduction in the personnel force
combined with a clear modernization was carried out. The
army comprises (2006) 36,000 men and is built around type
units of battalion force that can be distributed to nine
(brigade) commanding bodies. To this is added a reserve
force of 10 500 men. The territorial associations, totaling
47,000 men, will be dissolved before 2009. The fleet
comprises 4,500 men, 5,800 fully manned, with 3 modernized
submarines, 4 modern corvettes and 32 patrol boats. The Air
Force comprises 9,000 men, 9,750 fully manned, with 74
fighter aircraft and 12 attack helicopters. In 2006, 28 JAS
39 Gripen fighter aircraft were introduced.
South Africa participates in UN peacekeeping efforts in
Burundi (ONUB), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia /
Eritrea and Sudan. Defense costs fell from 2.7 to 1.5% of
GDP in 1985-2006. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that ZA stands for South Africa.
South Africa's defense overview
The total force figures for South Africa's armed forces
are 65,350 active personnel, with a reserve of 15,050
personnel (2018, IISS).
The army has a strength of 40,200 active personnel.
Materials include 24 Elephant 2 tanks, 50 clarinets, 534
storm tanks, 810 armored personnel vehicles and two
self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army has heavy
artillery, anti-aircraft artillery and light drones.
The Air Force has a strength of 9900 active personnel.
Materials include 26 fighter central Saab, 24 transport, 59
trainers (of which 24 Hawk which can also be used as light
combat aircraft), and 85 helicopters (which eleven combat
helicopters central Rooivalk).
The Navy has a force of 7100 active personnel. The fleet
includes three tactical submarines, four frigates, four
patrol vessels, two minesweepers and two auxiliary vessels.
In 2018, South Africa participated in UN operations in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) with an infantry
battalion, a combat helicopter squadron and a helicopter
squadron (1175 personnel), and seven observers, and in Sudan
(UNAMID) with three personnel and ten observers.
Nuclear power in South Africa
South Africa is the only country in Africa that has
nuclear reactors in commercial operation. The country's
nuclear power plant, Koeberg, came into operation in 1984.
The power plant has two pressurized water reactors with a
total capacity of 1830 MW e.
Coal is the dominant energy resource in South Africa and
accounts for almost 70% of the country's energy consumption.
This also characterizes the country's electrical energy
production system, where several large coal power plants are
built near the country's many coal mines. In 2012, the coal
power plants accounted for more than 92% of the country's
total power generation of 258 TWh. The contribution from
nuclear power was 13 TWh, which was 5%.
In order to meet the future need for electrical energy, a
number of plans for further power development have been
presented in recent years. In 2008, the state power company,
Eskom, announced plans to expand its production capacity by
40 GW e by 2025, half of which would be nuclear
power. These ambitions were not followed up. So far the
plans are concretised to a development of 9,600 MW e
new nuclear power over the next 10 years. However, no final
decision has been made, which is attributed to difficulties
From 1993 to 2010, Eskom, in collaboration with, among
others, the international company Westinghouse, worked on
developing an innovative demonstration plant based on a
pebble bed reactor. However, this project has been halted by
the South African government, citing, among other things,
the lack of interest from potential customers. In addition,
funding would be demanding as much work remained before the
reactor could be realized.
South Africa has large uranium resources and some of
these are currently being mined as a by-product of the gold
and copper mines. Annual production is approximately 600
tonnes of uranium (U 3 O 8), which
represents 1% of the world's total uranium production.