When Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula effectively closed the door on Denel getting into the Naval Dockyard in Simon’s Town earlier this year, it meant ownership and management of the national asset would remain with Armscor.
The state-owned defence and security acquisition agency is keeping an asset expected to post as loss of just over R30 million for the current financial year but does have a plan, according to Solomzi Mbada, Armscor Group Executive: Corporate Support.
“Armscor,” he said in response to a defenceWeb enquiry, “is now pursuing a renewal strategy for the Dockyard”.
This “must ensure” Armscor can deliver on its mandate to manage the Dockyard as a strategic facility of the SA Navy; be available for service provision to the Department of Defence, including provision of support services to satisfy SA Navy fleet requirements and “other national requirements”.
Mbada did not expand on the “other” but indications are it would include the blue economy portion of Operation Phakisa.
“The renewal strategy has been developed to address the financial deficit and ensure the Dockyard is transformed into an efficient, effective and economically viable operation,” he said adding it will be undertaken in three phases over a three year period.
“The first six months of the plan focuses on addressing the financial deficit. Evaluation, monitoring and review of the renewal strategy will be undertaken by Dockyard management and reported to the Executive Committee and the Board of Armscor on a regular basis,” he said.
According to the Armscor website the Naval Dockyard is the SA Navy’s third-line maintenance and refitting authority. The Dockyard focuses on maintaining capabilities to support the submarines, ships and shore-based support facilities of the SA National Defence Force’s maritime service. Activities such as planned preventative maintenance, corrective maintenance, reconstruction and repairs, as well as upgrades to and modernisation of SA Navy vessels are other functions that can be undertaken at the facility, considered a national asset.