Close to a year of facilitating and negotiating is now at a successful conclusion with two containers of South African sports ammunition loaded and ready for shipment to the US.
Making the sale of 2.88 million rounds of 9 mm and .223 ammunition from Denel PMP (Pretoria Metal Pressings) notable is the R15 million in revenue it will generate for the Pretoria West based ammunition manufacturer, in the financial doldrums along with other companies and business divisions in the Denel defence and technology conglomerate.
Speaking from Durban, Bryce Hills, Africa operations director for Fort Worth, Texas-based Omusha Firearms LLC, told defenceWeb this export of South African sports ammunition represented a breakthrough with further developments in the pipeline.
Denel PMP bills itself as an integrated manufacturer of small- and medium-calibre ammunition, brass products, detonics, power cartridges and mining drill bits. A major portion of turnover is generated by exports with ammunition from its Gauteng facility going to military and police forces and hunting and sporting fraternities around the world for over 70 years.
Hills said the shipment of ammunition was scheduled to leave the port of Richards Bay tomorrow (Thursday, 28 October) but “problems” saw this moved with a new estimated time of departure (ETD) set for Sunday, 31 October.
“As the senior African representative for Omusha I am confident this shipment is a breakthrough and look forward a long and satisfying relationship with Denel PMP,” he said.
Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow defence and military veterans minister Kobus Marais was, Hills said, “a valuable asset” throughout from initial discussions to loading containers.
Responding, Marais said he understood income from the US deal will go toward ensuring Denel PMP staff are paid full salaries. The Pretoria West Denel group employees, along with colleagues in other divisions at Lyttelton and Ekurhuleni, have been short or non-paid since mid-last year as the State-owned enterprise (SOE) finds itself in an ever-worsening financial situation.
Denel media communications had not responded to defenceWeb questions regarding the ammunition sale at the time of publishing.