Hamilton departs as AMD executive director


Simphiwe Hamilton, Executive Director of the South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) has stepped down after 13 years at the helm of the organisation. He is being replaced by Sandile Ndlovu, the current CEO of the AMD Export Council, from 1 July.

The AMD board on 29 May said that Hamilton had been instrumental in driving the success and sustainability of the South African Defence Industry (SADI) since he joined the association in 2007, serving as Executive Director for the last 13 years.

“In his demanding role as the lead of the SADI, he has contributed to various key milestones to where the SADI is today. To highlight some of these achievements, he was actively involved in ensuring that the SADI was recognised as a key sector by the then Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and various government departments in 2008.

“He was also actively involved in many other initiatives such as the establishment of the AMD Export Council in 2015, the formation of National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) in 2016, launching the Defence Industry fund (DIF) and gazetting of the Defence sector BBBEE codes both in 2018, as well as being actively involved in the Public–Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) in an effort to get the SADI operational during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Mr Hamilton has been a key mouthpiece to the sector in ensuring the efficiency of the National Conventional Arms Control (NCACC) and has assisted many companies in resolving export permit related issues as exports are the main revenue driver to the sustainability of the industry.

“It is indeed a great loss to the Board and the SADI that we had to accept his decision to step down from his position as Executive Director. On behalf of the Board, we would like to thank Mr Hamilton for his diligence and commitment he provided in supporting the SADI over the past 13 years and we wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

Ndlovu will fill Hamilton’s shoes from 1 July, in parallel with his Export Council duties. He will have the full support of the AMD Board until a suitable candidate is found, the association said.

“As part of his contractual agreement, Mr Hamilton has committed to completing his duties till 30 June 2020. Mr Hamilton has been working very closely with Mr Ndlovu over the years and we have no doubt that the association will continue to run effectively.”

AMD is the main lobby group and industry representative in South Africa, representing more than 90% of the local industry. AMD, together with Armscor and the departments of Trade and Industry and Defence, provide marketing support to the industry, such as financial and other assistance to participate in international defence exhibitions, giving exposure to the global marketplace. AMD’s mandate is to champion the collective interest of the industry, assist it obtain contracts and market itself. AMD also assists in ensuring the defence industry fully complies with arms control requirements and it interacts with the National Conventional Arms Control Committee to facilitate imports and exports.

AMD participated in drafting the 2015 Defence Review and helped operationalise the National Defence Industry Council, which aims to advance the industry. The organisation co-hosts the biennial Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition at Air Force Base Waterkloof, which is the largest such defence exhibition in Africa. The organisation also facilitates the sponsorship of international trade show pavilions; and publishes the annual South African Defence Industry Directory.

The South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Export Council (SAAMDEC) is geared primarily towards defence exports as the majority of members depend on export sales for survival. SAAMDEC was established by the Department of Trade and Industry under the auspices of AMD and assists companies exhibit at the world’s largest defence shows, such as AAD, the Paris Air Show, IDEX, LAAD and DSEI, amongst others. More than 50 companies are members of SAAMDEC.