The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced the appointment of Sipho Mbhokota as the new Executive Manager for CSIR Defence and Security.
CSIR Defence and Security is a key strategic focus area that seeks to build resilient defence and security capabilities for South Africa to ensure secure borders and the safety of citizens, the CSIR said on Friday.
Mbhokota joined the CSIR as the Competency Area Manager for the Integrated Systems Group in 2014. His career in the defence and security sector spans over 20 years, with 10 of those years spent as a member of the South African Air Force, where he was a Systems Engineer in the VIP Squadron, as well as a Project Engineer on the RSA Airbus A400M Aircraft Acquisition team. Prior to joining the CSIR, he was the Divisional Manager: Engineering Services at Armscor’s Dockyard, in Simons Town.
The newly appointed executive manager forms part of the team that will be driving the implementation of the organisation’s new strategy. The new CSIR strategy aims to leverage its strong science, engineering and technology capabilities to respond to industrial development opportunities.
“I am excited about the opportunities ahead and honoured to be appointed. I will be working closely with industry partners, public and private sector in developing and localising technologies to support the advancement of industries in the defence and security area. We want to strengthen capabilities in defence, civil security and cybersecurity through advanced technologies,” says Mbhokota.
The CSIR has developed a wide variety of defence and security technology including electronic warfare systems, cybersecurity solutions, unmanned aerial vehicles (Inundu and Lemu), a gunshot detection system, surveillance cameras (Otus and Tyto), Inundu airborne testing pod, Sensors and Electronic Warfare Engagement Simulation (SEWES) system, passive radar, Wide Area Surveillance System for vehicles, explosion mitigation system, add-on vehicle armour and the Cmore domain awareness system, amongst many others.