SA defence industry exported to 100 plus countries in 2020


The 2020 annual report of Government’s National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) – the latest available – shows 628 contracts valued at R3 111 588 919 were issued to the South African defence industry for munitions exports with 147 contracting permits, worth R15 567 766 095, authorised in the period under review.

The contracting and export permits saw South African defence industry companies place either equipment and services or other expertise in 106 foreign countries in the 1 January to 31 December 2020 calendar year.

The NCACC annual report is dated 31 March and is signed off by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola as acting NCACC chair. The committee was previously chaired by Jackson Mthembu, Minister in the Presidency, who died in January. His position is currently filled by Khumbudzo Ntshavheni who is acting in the portfolio.

Armoured combat vehicles are a major export commodity going to African countries including Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Togo and Uganda with Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also listed as buyers. The 150 vehicles are only specified as armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

Other South African defence exports include large calibre artillery, listed only as “weapon” with 46 guns going to France, Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria.

“Light weapons” from South Africa were sold to Brazil, Pakistan, the “Swiss Confederation”, UAE, the United Kingdom and the US earning their manufacturers and/or distributors R4 445 946. Fifteen countries took delivery of South African ammunition, specified as “round/shell”.

The balance of exports were in the categories imaging or counter-measures, electronic and warning equipment as well as software and what is termed “associated technology”.