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Latest news on the defence and aerospace sector.

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    A West African military force to fight Islamist militants has only received a quarter of the money pledged at its deployment last year and is in urgent need of financial support, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said. Donors from Saudi Arabia to the US pledged to fund the force known as G5 Sahel when it began deploying last year. So far, about a quarter of a total €414-million pledged has been released, Parly said Monday in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, at the sidelines of a security conference.

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    The Composite Cluster, which was launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) space affairs chief director Nomfuneko Majaja during the inaugural Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show, in Port Elizabeth, on Wednesday, aims to support the development and use of composites as part of advanced manufacturing in South Africa. The cluster, headed by MD Andy Radford, is an extension of the Mandela Bay Composite Cluster, which started in 2015 from foundational work of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and critical input from Technical University Delft advanced manufacturing hub head Dr Kjelt Rijswijk. It has grown from 13 member companies to 53 members over the past two and a half years.

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    Former president Jacob Zuma called Pravin Gordhan, then finance minister, in 2015 to try and convince him to agree to an enormously expensive deal with airplane manufacturer Airbus because his close friend Dudu Myeni wanted it. In his 68-page sworn statement delivered to the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, Gordhan details a phone call he received from Zuma in which the then head of state implored his finance minister to agree to buy Airbus passenger planes instead of leasing ...

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    Saudi Arabia has made a $1-billion bid for a broad partnership with South African State-owned defence group Denel that would include the acquisition of a minority stake in a joint venture with Germany's Rheinmetall, a source familiar with the offer said. Currently heavily dependent on imports, Saudi Arabia, the world's third-largest defence spender, is seeking partnerships to develop its own domestic defence industry with the goal of localising half of its military spending by 2030.

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    South Africa's government must urgently inject at least R7-billion into struggling State-owned defence group Denel, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Friday. Denel reported a R1.7-billion for the 2017/18 financial year and is struggling to pay worker salaries and deliver on roughly R18-billion of outstanding orders.

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  • 11/13/18--06:15: Defence sector code gazetted
  • Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies expects transformation in South Africa’s defence sector to gain traction, following the gazetting, on Monday, of the Defence Sector Code in terms of Section 9(1) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act. Davies says the development of the Defence Sector Code was made possible owing to the leadership of the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans, as well as the Armaments Corporation of South Africa, in collaboration with the industry, to develop sector-specific transformation guidelines.

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    South Africa and India already have a solid framework for strong relations, not least in the areas of trade and investment, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa (Ms) Ruchira Kamboj tells Engineering News Online. "India and South Africa are old friends and historical partners," she highlights. "Don't forget we are Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa alignment] countries, members of IBSA [India, Brazil, South Africa], and we are both members of the Commonwealth. And we are ...

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    Giant Europe-based aerospace group Airbus has affirmed that aerospace technologies can play a key role in dealing with many of the socioeconomic challenges confronting Africa. It did so in a report, which it called a White Paper, that was released at the end of last month. at a special event in Toulouse, France. The event brought together government officials, policy-makers, business people and entrepreneurs from Africa, as well as representatives of intergovernmental agencies and multilateral development organisations.

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    The US military will withdraw hundreds of troops focused on counterterrorism operations in Africa over the next several years to support the Pentagon's increased focus on countering threats from China and Russia, officials said on Thursday. Earlier this year, the US military put countering China and Russia at the center of a new national defense strategy, the latest sign of shifting priorities after more than a decade and a half of focusing on the fight against Islamist militants.

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    Loss-making South African arms maker Denel has a problem as it fights to survive. Its potential saviour is Saudi Arabia, now drawing fierce criticism following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But after being mismanaged for years and tainted by a far-reaching influence-peddling scandal, state-owned Denel now needs the kind of help that the deep-pocketed Saudis can provide.

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    Petrochemicals giant Sasol has denied that it is responsible for pollution in the Vaal river. However, it has admitted struggling to interpret some compliance requirements with regard to regulations on the discharge of waste. According to a report by the Department of Water and Sanitation Department, three of Sasol's waste incinerators were closed after failing to comply. CHALLENGES TO COMPLIANCE The revelations were made by the company at the second day of the South African Human Rights ...

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    The audit outcomes of State-owned entities (SOEs) have regressed over the past financial year compared with both the previous year and 2014/15. The 2017/18 general report for the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) said there was an increase in noncompliance of the 16 SOEs it audited. It also reported weaknesses in performance reporting processes.

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    South Africa and Indian already have a solid framework for strong relations, not least in the areas of trade and investment, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa (Ms) Ruchira Kamboj tells "Engineering News". "India and South Africa are old friends  and historical partners," she highlights. "Don't forget we are Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa alignment] countries, members of IBSA [India, Brazil, South Africa], and we are both members of the Commonwealth. And we are both countries of the Global South."

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    Work on the Vaal River System rehabilitation project, in Sebokeng, is now under way after a technical team from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) completed its assessments, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has said. Following the deployment by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni of SANDF technical teams to restore infrastructure, including dysfunctional plants and substations, at the polluted Vaal River system, the team has, over the past three to four weeks, assessed the issues and produced a final report on what needs to be done going forward.

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    South Africa's defence industry is facing a crisis as the State-owned arms maker Denel struggles to survive, and rapidly agreeing equity partnerships is the only way to save it, one of the country's top defence officials told Reuters. Denel's woes put at risk an industry estimated to directly employ around 15 000 people and which is one of the most advanced sectors of Africa's most developed economy, said Kevin Wakeford, CEO of Armscor.

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    The Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday granted an order setting out the timetable for the prosecution of former president Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales. However, Zuma’s legal team continued to claim that their client was not being treated fairly by the “dismissive” National Prosecuting Authority.

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    A South African black-owned shipbuilding company has taken big steps in the transformation of the maritime sector by forging ahead on a multi-billion rand build programme for a new hydrographic survey vessel for the country’s navy. On Friday, Southern African Shipyards (SAS) went one step further in building what has been described as “the most complex and technically advanced vessel that has ever been built in the country” by holding a steel cutting ceremony at its Bayhead premises in the Port of Durban.

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    Europe-based global aerospace and defence company Airbus Defence and Space announced in Australia on Monday that it had opened the first operational launch site for its Zephyr “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite” (Haps) at the Western Australian town of Wyndham. The Zephyr is a very high (stratospheric) altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), powered by solar energy. “The official opening of the Airbus Wyndham launch site in Western Australia, the world’s first operational Haps site, marks the start of a new era for Zephyr,” highlighted Airbus Unmanned Aerial Systems head (Ms) Jana Rosenmann. “We are proud to see Australia become part of the Zephyr operational network.”

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    The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has found 11 of its members guilty of assaulting a 17-year old Congolese citizen in his country. In a "historic and ground-breaking trial" the defence force has, for the first time, used the Prevention of Combating and Torture of Persons Act to charge 16 of its members who were deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as part of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) of Operation Mistral. Although they were not convicted in terms of ...

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    Denel confirmed to MPs on Wednesday it had terminated a R1.1-million bursary agreement with Supra Mahumapelo Jr, the son of the former North West premier. Briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises, Denel board audit committee chair Talib Sadik said an investigation into the awarding of the bursary made several findings. 

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