The acting Armscor chief executive believes the defence and security acquisition agency has to be innovative in doing more with less.
Advocate Solomzi Mbada, who temporarily took over the reins of the state-owned procurement operation when Kevin Wakeford left earlier this year, went public for the first time in the latest Armscor newsletter.
He writes the present time is “an interesting one for the defence industry which is forever changing”.
“We need to evolve to remain competitive and relevant to our clients,” he points out, adding Armscor’s “client” is the Department of Defence (DoD).
“The DoD relies on us to be innovative in doing more with the restricted budget. That will require Armscor to improve efficiency and effectiveness by reviewing our contracting model and processes to realise cost savings.
“The issues of continuous improvement become essential during times of tight fiscal challenges. We pride ourselves as a technology driven organisation. In areas where we are not strong, we need to work on improving.”
Mbada goes on to say Armscor’s research and development business unit “is putting plans in place to ensure return on investment”.
“We engaged with local government, the security cluster and we will issue a programme of action to use our networks to open doors for opportunities to deliver the return on investment. Partnerships will be key going forward. There’s an African proverb that says and I quote; ‘if you want to go quickly, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together’.”
Mbada is of the opinion South Africa’s defence industry “has all the metrics to optimise and deliver smart solutions for dual use technology” and asks if it is ready for the changes the fourth industrial revolution and artificial intelligence will bring.
He points out budget allocations are reflective of the economic challenges and key priorities government faces and appeals to all Armscor personnel to “reflect on relevance to the client and come up with ways to generate additional revenue”.