Progress with dockyard renewal


The Simon’s Town dockyard, now in its third year of Armscor management, has made “significant progress” on the renewal strategy put in place by the Department of Defence (DoD) funded State-owned entity.

According to Armscor chief executive Solomzi Mbada the dockyard – one of five in South Africa – is the SA Navy (SAN) maintenance repair authority responsible for the upkeep of the fleet, from frigates, offshore patrol vessels and submarines through to harbour patrol mine counter-measures and other smaller hulls.

Writing in the first 2021 edition of Inside Out, the quarterly Armscor newsletter of which two were published last year, the chief executive has it the facility, part of Naval Base Simon’s Town, is one of South Africa’s strategic national capabilities housing the country’s naval defence.

“Since adoption of the renewal strategy in 2018, we have seen improvements in the overall operation of the facility. Revival of lost capabilities, retaining skilled workforce, expenditure and operational efficiencies are some notable milestones,” he writes.

Expanding on renewal at the dockyard, once the driver of an effort by Denel to set up a maritime division, the newsletter notes “despite challenges, the dockyard continues implementation of the renewal strategy” to make the facility a sustainable and effective maintenance and repair support service to the maritime service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). Importantly, the strategy aims to eliminate the financial deficit” by embarking on commercial activities to generate income”.

Renewal achievements to date include a spray booth to support the internal combustion engine workshop and a grit blasting booth supporting a drive to “preserve the environment” and reduce the cost of consumables as it enables grit recycling.