The third draft of the South African Defence Review, published in April 2013, highlights that, while South Africa is not considered a global military force, it does have a significant military role to play in the Southern African region. The country’s defence force also has significant international commitments, in terms of peacekeeping and support operations, to the rest of the continent.
However, the country’s expenditure on defence – military vehicles, aircraft and naval vessels – has remained low, compared with international standards. Expenditures have dropped to about 1% of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with the international average of 2.5% of GDP. Expenditure on more equipment, such as that acquired in the controversial arms deal, is not the biggest concern. Rather, analysts have indicated that operational funds are needed the most to ensure the future capability of the defence force is maintained.
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand 1999 arms deal, the sector’s competitiveness and diversification, as well as the challenge of skills shortages and an ageing skills base.
This report draws from material published over the past 12 months and is a summary of other sources of information published in Engineering News and Mining Weekly, as well as information available in the public domain. This report does not purport to provide an analysis of market trends.
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