Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown will be in Pakistan from November 1 to 3 “exploring co-operation between Pakistani companies, its defence force and Denel” according to a Ministry statement.
She is going to Pakistan at the invitation of that country defence minister, Rana Tanveer Hussain. Included in the ministerial delegation is just confirmed Denel chief executive, Zwelakhe Ntshepe; Department of Public Enterprises director general, Mogokare Richard Seleke, and other senior officials.
Apart from meeting Hussein the South African delegation will visit a number of “strategic sites” where discussions will be held as regards potential future co-operation between Denel and the Pakistani Defence Force according to the statement.
South Africa and Pakistan have maintained diplomatic relations since 1994 with the country’s first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela visiting Pakistan in 1999. Regular high-level engagements have since been held. Bilateral trade between the two countries is, according to the Public Enterprises Ministry, on an upward trend growing from R2,5 billion in 2016 to currently stand at R8 billion.
Brown expressed her gratitude at the opportunity given South Africa by Hussain saying it would “deepen” the relationship with Pakistan.
“Denel is the largest manufacturer of defence equipment in South Africa, operating in the military, aerospace and landward defence environment. It is an important defence contractor both domestically and internationally,” the Ministry statement said.
“Denel is a key supplier to the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and for the overhaul, maintenance, repair, refurbishment and upgrade of equipment in the defence force’s arsenal.
“Internationally, Denel supplies systems and consumables to end users, as well as sub-systems and components to an industrial client base. The company has concluded and successfully manages a number of equity partnerships, joint ventures and co-operation agreements with renowned players in the global defence industry.”