Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has commended the aviation sector for their dedication in promoting South Africa’s aerospace industry and capabilities. Sisulu says exposure to cutting edge technology helps with the country’s development.
The state BuaNews agency reports Sisulu was speaking at a dinner ahead of the African Aerospace and Defence exhibition this week. She was further reported as saying South Africa will continue to pursue international partnerships that would ensure the defence industry’s future sustainability and success. “We will continue to prioritise technologies that enable us to make choices within the context of our socio-economic realities,” the minister said.
But Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan last week told Parliament the Department of Defence was not willing to accept an equity partner for Denel Dynamics in the missile industry citing sovereignty and strategic issues as concerns. She was somewhat contradicted by her acting deputy director general for investment and portfolio management, Anthony Kamungoma, who said
approval for Denel Dynamics to transact with a global partner – widely said to be MBDA – had been given conditionally.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Hogan noted the growth of AAD in recent years. This year’sedition is the biggest to date with more than 300 exhibitors from 31 countries. More than 17 000 trade visitors were expected by today.
Hogan noted the defence industry now contributes 7% to South Africa’s manufacturing GDP. She highlighted the need for further partnerships – both domestically and internationally – to spread the technological risk and cost associated with developing new capabilities.