The South African Army is the army of South Africa, first formed after the Union of South Africa was created in 1910. The South African military evolved within the tradition of frontier warfare fought by Boer Commando (militia) forces, reinforced by the Afrikaners' historical distrust of large standing armies. It then fought as part of the wider British effort in World War II, but afterwards was cut off from its long-standing Commonwealth ties with the ascension to power of the National Party in South Africa in 1948. The National Party's opposition to socialism and democracy, and its introduction of the policy of apartheid, led to friction with neighbouring states that helped to spark the border wars in South West Africa, now Namibia, from 1966.
The role of the Army was fundamentally changed by the upheavals of the early 1990s and after 1994 the Army became part of the new South African National Defence Force. It is now becoming increasingly involved in peacekeeping efforts in southern Africa, often as part of wider African Union operations. The Army is composed of roughly 40,100 regular uniformed personnel, augmented by 12,300 reserve force personnel. The rank/age structure of the army, which deteriorated desperately during the 1990s, is greatly improving through the Military Skills Development (MSDS) voluntary national service system. Through this system, young healthy members are being inducted into the regular and reserve forces every year.
- Olifant Mk.1A/1B/2 x 196 (Main Battle Tank)
- Rooikat x 178 (Fire Support Vehicle)
- Ratel IFV x 1200 (Infantry Fighting Vehicle)
- Ratel ZT-3 x 52 (Tank Destroyer)
- Mamba Mk.3 x 440 (Armoured Personnel Carrier)
- Casspir Mk.3 x 370 (Infantry Mobility Vehicle)
- Rapid Deployment Reconnaissance Vehicle x 26 (Reconnaissance Vehicle)