State-owned defence industry conglomerate, Denel, has launched a support and development programme for emerging entrepreneurs wanting to enter this sector of economic activity.
This saw a supplier development summit take place today at Denel’s Irene campus.
Riaz Saloojee, Denel chief executive, said ahead of the gathering the objective was to raise awareness about the products and services offered by Denel and its constituent business divisions and companies.
“This will in turn lead to identifying opportunities where small business can become part of the various supply chains within Denel.
“Denel is committed to a South Africa first approach to procurement with a special focus on black-owned, women-owned and youth-owned enterprises. It is often difficult for emerging enterprises to become part of the supply chains of established manufacturers and our intention is to open up and facilitate these processes.”
The past 18 months has seen Denel undertake a comprehensive review of its supply chain processes. Saloojee said this had led to a sound policy framework which not only meets good practice codes developed by government but also reflected Denel’s commitment to transformation.
The first step was to identity and ring-fence non-specialised products and services available that can be easily sourced from emerging businesses. In the most recent financial year procurement valued at over R140 million went to emerging businesses.
Local suppliers are responsible for over 80% of the goods and services used by Denel and its associated companies and business divisions.
Part of the programme will see Denel reach out to its primary suppliers in the private sector to ensure their transformation strategies are aligned with Denel’s.
“We see this as making a substantial contribution to accelerated transformation of the South African defence industry,” Saloojee said.
Those attending the supplier summit had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some Denel products including the G6, the Badger infantry fighting vehicle as well as recent developments in the missile and UAV environments.
Summing up the thinking behind the summit Saloojee said: “Denel is already a key contributor to growth in the advanced manufacturing sector. We intend to expand this role and open doors to emerging suppliers who will become partners in future projects”.