Source: Ministry of Defence South Africa
The Minister Of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu said a change of date was required for the Industry Day to allow budget processes in parliament to be approved. This came to light in the fifth annual Department of Defence Industry Day that took place at the CSIR on 22 March 2012.
The minister has pledged to support the industry and partner with it meaningfully. Other attendees at the Industry Day included members of the defence industry, senior officials from other government departments, Armscor and the South African Aerospace Maritime and Defence Industry Association.
The services of an efficient defence industry are required to address the needs the SANDF to enable it to meet its constitutional obligations. The industry permits the cost-effective purchase of certain products and systems, ensures life cycle maintenance and support of such systems, and performs refurbishment and upgrades of existing equipment.
The government also supports the export initiatives of the defence industry by permitting it to contract and honour obligations which have been duly approved. However, the government reserves the right to prohibit or withdraw such support should it be in conflict with international or national interests at any time.
Minister Sisulu said she is expecting the Defence Review to start with its public interaction around May 2012 and the inclusion of the defence industry would be critical. Its processes should be completed by the end of July 2012 to enable parliament to deliberate and adopt it as policy by the beginning of the third quarter.
Minister Sisulu mentioned that the department is faced with the new circumstance of having to look after Military Veterans: “The Defence Industry is therefore called upon to assist in this very important endeavour, by looking at ways and means to accelerate incorporation of military veterans into the industry’s economic stream, both at individual level, by offering employment and training where possible.”
The Chief of the SANDF, Gen Solly Shoke, has reiterated that the defence industry makes most of its revenue out of the defence force and as such, military veterans are part of the defence force community, towards which the industry should direct its corporate social responsibility.
By Cpl Itumeleng Makhubela