Armscor chairman retired admiral Johannes Mudimu hit the nail right on the head when addressing about 500 representatives of small, medium and macro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) at the defence and security agency’s supplier open day this week.
He told those present they were as important to the sovereign integrity of South Africa as were the country’s airmen, military medics, sailors and soldiers.
“You, in terms of the goods and service supplied to the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) via Armscor tenders are just as much part of protecting South Africa as the soldiers who use the goods and services to protect our country,” he said to audience applause at the St George’s Hotel in Irene, south of Pretoria.
Apart from being the link between SMMEs active in the local defence industry and those planning on becoming defence oriented suppliers, Armscor will also assist them when it comes to global competitiveness as sub-contractors to larger defence industry players.
“SMME products can be exported by Armscor with tax and other administration functions taken care of by Armscor,” the retired SA Navy chief said, adding SMMEs had to be a vital and integral part of the national economy if South Africa was to succeed.
He also told those present that Armscor had arranged for SMME exposure at this year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition to be held in September at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Centurion.
Other speakers at the suppliers open day gave SMME owners and operators insights into the current status of the Defence Industry Charter, government’s central supplier database and e-tenders, the Armscor procurement process and support initiatives for SMMEs.