In his address to South Africa's first Homeland Security Conference, in Pretoria, on Tuesday, Armscor CEO Kevin Wakeford highlighted that it marked the first time that the defence and security industries were "sitting together". He asserted that the two sectors needed to work together. "We've got to start talking to each other."
Furthermore, both these sectors, on the one side, and the government on the other, also needed to work together. There was a need, he said, to develop a national system to combat various threats, including organized crime.
"We're trying to coagulate and develop some cohesion around our readiness ... as a country and a continent," he affirmed. "It is time we started talking seriously about our national security."
"In South Africa, we should not believe we are an island," pointed out Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in her keynote address. The country, she added, was part of the global community, and terrorism could occur here.
"We want an indigenous solution, or a hybridised solution," to meet the country's security needs, stressed Wakeford in his speech. A hybridised solution would involve a mixture of local technologies and overseas technologies adapted to local conditions. South Africa did not need a 100%-imported solution.
"We [South Africa] have invested a lot of money over many years in [developing] the best, world-class, technologies," he emphasised. "It's time to roll up our sleeves."