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Armscor and AMD looking to get Defence Industry Fund up and running

SA Defence Industry FundMinister Rob Davies’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is keeping mum on progress with the Defence Industry Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) charter while Armscor has announced a Request for Proposals (RfP) for a Defence Industry Fund (DIF) which directly affects the charter.

On 4 August the DTI gazetted the draft BBBEE Defence Sector charter for its second round of public comment. Interested and affected parties had 60 days to lodge comment. That deadline has now well and truly passed. A request was forwarded to the DTI for an update on the current status of the document on November 2, but no response had been received at the time of publication.

On its tender announcement portal Armscor, in a joint announcement with AMD (the SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association) notes Parliament approved the Defence Review 2015, designed to ensure the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is “adequately capacitated and equipped for all ordered operations in South Africa and the rest of Africa”.

This, the announcement states, requires the local defence industry to embark on extensive research and development and “massive production of relevant equipment”.

With an eye firmly on increasing the involvement of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in the defence industry Armscor and AMD set out to establish the Defence Industry Fund (DIF).

“It is envisaged that, through the DIF, local SMMEs in the defence industry will be able to compete in the global defence market. It will also help with transformation by introducing new entrants to the industry while ensuring security of supply of strategic and sovereign capabilities for the SANDF,” according to the announcement.

Armscor and AMD are looking for a licensed financial service provider to structure and operate the DIF.

The RfP seeks to appoint an operating company to manage the DIF and provide financial services to the defence industry. It will be able to source and disburse funds in line with its own policies and criteria the announcement notes.

A compulsory briefing session will be held at the Armscor Building in Erasmuskloof, Pretoria on 29 November and the closing date for submission of RfPs is 31 January.
 
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