South Africa adopted a human security orientation at the start of its democratic epoch in 1994. Human security is an approach to security which prioritises the protection of the people over security of the state. One of its central tenets is that security is best achieved through development as opposed to arms procurement. Against this backdrop, the principal objective of this study was to critically analyse and describe South Africa s official perceptions of human security in the period 1994-2009, and their impact on the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Three indicators were identified to respond to the research questions and objectives. The indicators are strategic defence posture, actual functions performed by the SANDF and civil-military relations in South Africa. Following an evaluation of these the main finding was that state security and human security were equally prioritised in South Africa s official lexis but in praxis the impact made the operational functioning of the SANDF difficult. The analysis conducted in this study was enhanced by ideas from Critical Security Studies (CSS) which emerged as a response to the seemingly anachronistic realist assumptions which fuelled traditional security (studies) for much of the Cold War.
The qualitative-documentary study was necessary to contribute to an understanding of a phenomenon like human security. This is especially as South Africa s official pronouncements and policy documents often make reference to human security principles while the lived daily experience for the vast majority of people is anything but secure.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.