Defence Industry Day

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Last Thursday’s fifth annual Defence Industry Day seems to have been a success.

In my view, the first-time appearance of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans was a particular highlight, as well as her views on AMD, the South African Aerospace Maritime and Defence Industries Association, reported on these pages Friday.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu also announced a South African Defence Council as the highest-level body between the defence industry and the Department of Defence (DoD). On the council are the Secretary for Defence and DDGs responsible for Acquisition and Industry Governance, the Chief of the SANDF, the CEO of Armscor and such industry representatives designated by the AMD board. When required, officials from other government departments will be invited to the Council.
“For me this day marks the day when the Department of Defence commits to partner with the defence industry,” Sisulu said. “This time we do actually mean business.” One hopes this will lead to the early placement of orders for a range of vital projects long stuck in the doldrums, example being Bro (new patrol vessels),Hotel (new hydrographic ship), Vistula (new logistics trucks), Sepula (new armoured personnel carrier)!

I could not personally attend, having recently being felled by a virus, and was home “off sick”. (Still the case). Also pleasing was the fact that, the entire event was open to the media who bothered to attend, an improvement on previous years.