The South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industry Association (AMD) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. At an event yesterday it committed to developing new technology, research and development, establishing niche markets, developing young black engineers and working on establishing a workable funding model for projects.
The organisation held a round-table discussion on 8 June 2017 at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria yesterday under the banner of ‘Innovative Industry towards Sustainable Growth’.
It said the industry has moved from being the sole supplier of the then South African Defence Force to being a supplier of the South African National Defence Force. The industry has thrived from an era of plenty of orders to an era of competing budgets, and it has survived.
“In the last ten years the industry has had to look at working closely together with the government for its survival, for there is no defence industry in the world that survives without government support. There have been numerous engagements with the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans to work towards having an ideal relationship. These engagements have yielded much fruit,” AMD said in a statement.
AMD was formally established in 1998, through a merger of the Aerospace Industries Representative Association (AIRASA, established in 1992), the South African Defence Industry Association (SADIA, established in 1994) and the Defence Industry Interest Group of South Africa (DiiGSA, established in early 1998).
The aim was to represent an array of defence companies involved in research, design, development, manufacturing, upgrading and maintenance of aerospace, landward, maritime and integrated defence equipment. Today AMD has about 70 industry members, with 17 Class A and B members representing more than 90% of local defence sales.
“AMD’s success is evidenced by SADI being included in the SA government’s ongoing Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) initiatives and placing a specific focus on the local aerospace sector. SADI companies are now actively participating in a wide range of industrial and technology programmes, thereby underpinning sustainable job creation, human capital and technology development, and implementing modern manufacturing techniques and processes,” AMD said.
Looking forward, the organisation said it is examining ways to implement the principles of the 2015 Defence Review.