While the final call on whether or not this year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) will go ahead is not in the hands of the organising team, they are putting shoulders to the wheel hoping the September exhibition will get the “all clear”.
That’s the word from exhibition director Leona Redelinghuys who this week told defenceWeb: “At this stage AAD will continue as scheduled. We are continuously monitoring the situation and will be guided by government on the way forward”.
The exhibition, which traces its roots back to 1975, is booked for the SA Air Force (SAAF) base at Waterkloof in Centurion and set to run from 16 to 20 September.
The arrival – worldwide – of coronavirus and its subsequent declaration as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) led to restrictions being imposed on people across the globe. South Africa has the unfortunate appellation from the UN Office on Human Rights of putting its citizens and residents under “draconian” regulations to stop the spread of the virus. These currently include a night-time curfew, a ban on alcohol and tobacco sales as well as travel restrictions and only certain businesses allowed to operate.
These regulations and whatever else government’s National Command Council (NCC) deem applicable to “save” South Africa from coronavirus currently and for the foreseeable future have sway over all else. In this regard it has been pointed out coronavirus/COVID-19 is expected to peak in South Africa in September when AFB Waterkloof hosts Africa’s premier aerospace and defence exhibition.
An optimistic Redelinghuys said: “We cannot wait for this to be behind us and welcome exhibitors and visitors to AFB Waterkloof”.