Looking back on his first full year as chairman of Armscor, retired SA Navy chief Johannes Mudimu maintains a new strategic direction is now in place for the State’s defence and security acquisition agency.
When he assumed chairmanship he also took charge of a new board of directors, appointed by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula following her dismissal of the previous incumbents.
Mudimu’s chairmanship started with, as he puts it in the latest Armscor annual report, “traversing the length and breadth of the country to visit all Armscor facilities at Gerotek, Alkantpan, Protechnik (including Hazmat, Ergotech and Flamengro), the Dockyard and the Institute for Maritime Technology.
“We went out to meet as many of our stakeholders as possible, including the Department of Defence, AMD, Denel, the Department of Trade and Industry and a variety of industry players, both locally and internationally. Our engagements have begun to bear fruit. An atmosphere of inclusiveness, camaraderie and partnership has begun permeating our dealings with everyone who has a legitimate interest in the defence environment in South Africa.
“The feedback we receive is there is an effective change in the mood within the defence environment. We are now authoring a new chapter of hope, where we can share ideas openly and freely, understanding it is only through mutual co-operation that we can serve the interests of our client – the Department of Defence and Military Veterans.”
This new direction has also seen the number of in-house Armscor committees reduced to four with an additional one created.
Audit and Risk, Human Resources and the Social and Ethics committees remain along with the Acquisition committee which, in Mudimu’s words, “deal with the main business of Armscor”.
The new committee is the Technology and Industry Support one. It focusses on technology development and exploitation and supports the South African defence industry.