It’s official – Advocate Solomzi Mbada is chief executive of Armscor after a period as acting chief following the departure of Kevin Wakeford.
Confirmation that he will be the permanent number one at government’s defence and security acquisition agency after a year in the acting position came in an announcement following the first Cabinet meeting of 2020.
Phumla Williams of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said, relating to appointments, including new directors for the Nuclear Energy Corporation, that Mbada is chief executive of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa. There was, at the time of publication, no announcement or confirmation of its new chief executive from Armscor.
According to the most recent Armscor annual report, Mbada’s areas of expertise are strategic and human resources, industrial relations and training management.
In an Armscor newsletter soon after he was named acting chief executive, Mbada wrote the acquisition agency had to “evolve to remain competitive and relevant to clients”, the major one being 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 contracting models 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,” he wrote, adding the research and development side of Armscor was “putting plans in place to ensure return on investment”.
“We engaged with local government and the security cluster and will use a programme of action for our networks to open doors for opportunities to deliver 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’.”
In a message on the Armscor website, Mbada gives five points he considers the core to its business. These are the acquisition of defence materiel and related services; provision of strategic facilities and research and development in support of the core business; management of the Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) programme; management of disposal of forfeited, redundant or surplus defence materiel; and commercial exploitation of Armscor products and services.
According to him “Armscor is committed to driving technology innovation in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by developing dual use solutions for the defence and commercial industries. This guarantees Armscor and the defence industry remain relevant in economic participation and renewal of South Africa. Armscor strives to deliver despite the challenges of declining budgets”.