Mudimu up and running as Armscor chairman


Retired vice admiral Johannes Mudimu has wasted no time in getting to grips with his new position as chairman of Armscor.

He was named as successor to retired lieutenant general “Mojo” Motau by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on May 1 and has already chaired his first Armscor board meeting.

Speaking to defenceWeb from the chairman’s office in the Armscor building today, Mudimu said one of his first tasks at the helm of government’s security acquisition agency would be to ensure Armscor delivered “on time and in time”.
“This is especially applicable to the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) elements deployed on peacekeeping and peace support missions in Africa. They have to have to right equipment to enable them to do their work properly.”

He also plans to take a long, hard look at the Simon’s Town naval dockyard. This is one of South Africa’s major maritime assets and he wants to see it as “a beacon of hope” not only for South Africa, but also for the southern African region and the continent.

Management of the dockyard was originally vested in the SA Navy, which Mudimu commanded for eight years, but this was transferred to Armscor in September 2007 as a result of “inefficiencies and challenges experienced by the Navy,” an Armscor statement issued then said.

Last year Mudimu pointed out less than 250 000 of the 900 000 man hours of work required from the dockyard were completed in the previous financial year. More than half the hours worked were logged by senior dockyard managers prompting him to ask “how can one operate a dockyard with a handful of welders and no other artisans?”

His efforts to make Armscor work properly also include meeting with stakeholders, both in the public and private sector.
“We at Armscor must not forget we are the servants of the Department of Defence. When equipment is needed, it is generally needed speedily and Armscor must be geared to speed up acquisitions to enable the SANDF to do its work properly.”

Delays attributed to Armscor in providing final documentation and contract details for the SA Army’s new Badger infantry fighting vehicles saw the number of vehicles to be delivered cut from 264 to 238.

This is what Mudimu doesn’t want to happen on his watch and he said the “on time and in time” principle would be enforced.

He sees meetings, in the next few months, with Denel, the CSIR and “as many private sector defence industry companies as possible”.
“At the end of the day I want to see Armscor running as a well-oiled machine. This is in the best interests of not only the SANDF but also the country,” Mudimu said.