Publication: Beeld Issued: Date: 2012-09-14 Reporter: Erika Gibson

SA withdrew its ship for piracy patrols




Date 2012-09-14
Reporter Erika Gibson
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The rainy season in the Mozambique Channel and storms on the high seas, is one of the reasons why the South African fleet withdrew its piracy patrols.

The SAS Amatola, because of problems with only one engine functioning, is back in Simon's Town after just a few weeks instead of the planned four months voyage to the Mozambican coast.

According to Brigadier-General. Xolani Mabanga, spokesperson of the army, the pirates become less active in the rainy season.

This despite the kidnapping of a South African couple two years ago and mre recent incidents of piracy.

Mabanga said the SAS Amatola was also recalled for servicing in the runup to two large international naval exercises coming up.

The fleet is plagued by a shortage of serviceable ships for all of its national and international obligations.

According to Helmoed-Römer Heitman, a military expert, the temporary cessation of the piracy patrols is the result of too few ships to do too much with too little money and technical staff.

With acknowledgement to Erika Gibson and Beeld.

This is simple nonsense.

The SA Navy has four of the latest and most modern frigates in the world.

It also has three of the latest and most modern coastal submarines in the world.

It also has three potentially operational strikecraft.

It also has one operational multi-purpose ship, the SA Drakensberg.

It also has several other potentially operational mine sweepers and mine layers.

The lack of ships is not the reason.

It is the lack of fully operational ships that is the sole reason.

The reason for that is because all the SA Navy's running budget is consumed by paying too many useless people and it purchasing anti-ship missiles and other equipment out of its running budget which should have been paid for out of the Strategic Defence Account as part of the original system acquisition.

Just like with both the frigates (patrol corvettes) and the coastal submarines, all maintenance and repair other than trivialities are now awaiting half-life upgrade or refit because this is funded fro  the Strategic Defence Account and not the service running budget.

The persons who ran these acquisitions should be keelhauled and/or plankwalked.

And even those are too kind a sanction.

Translation by Google with human assistance.

SA onttrek sy skip vir seerowerpatrollies

Erika Gibson

Die reënseisoen in die Mosambiekse kanaal wat storms op die oop see veroorsaak, is een van die redes waarom die Suid-Afrikaanse vloot sy seerowerpatrollieskip vir eers onttrek het.

Die SAS Amatola, wat juis weens probleme net met een enjin funksioneer, is nou ná net enkele weke pleks van die beplande vier maande aan die Mosambiekse kus terug in Simonstad.

Volgens brig.genl. Xolani Mabanga, woordvoerder van die weermag, raak die seerowers minder aktief in die reënseisoen.

Dít ondanks die ontvoering van ’n Suid-Afrikaanse paartjie twee jaar gelede en nóg voorvalle van seerowery.

Volgens Mabanga is die SAS Amatola ook teruggeroep vir versienings in die aanloop tot twee groot internasionale vlootoefeninge wat op hande is.

Die vloot word geteister deur ’n tekort aan diensbare skepe om aan al sy nasionale en internasionale verpligtinge te voldoen.

Volgens Helmoed-Römer Heitman, militêre kenner, is die tydelike staking van die seerower­patrollies die gevolg van te min skepe wat te veel moet doen met te min geld en tegniese personeel.