A lot has happened in the industry in the quarter under review. COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect business operations and Armscor is not sparred from these interruptions. As an organisation we had to quickly adapt to changing environment fuelled by declining budget cuts as a result of the overstretched national fiscus. We are expected to do more with less in order to deliver on our mandate as defined in the Armscor Act.
In order to mitigate these challenges Armscor’s Board, since its appointment in December 2022, has been hard at work to find viable ways in which Armscor can take advantage of opportunities available in the market. The management is fully aware that the days of transfer payments are slowly depleting hence all efforts are geared towards revenue generation. Key to achieving this is the commercialisation of some of the products and services offered at Armscor. There are plans in place to package these products and services in such a way that it is appealing to the market.
Testing and evaluation of hand sanitisers and surface disinfectant by Protechnik; development of Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detector system and the Beach Barrier system technology by the Institute for Maritime Technology (IMT) are some of the capabilities Armscor seeks to pursue as part of its commercialisation strategy.
We continue engaging various key stakeholders both locally and internationally on possible areas of collaboration. We believe that key strategic partnerships and collaborations are vital in improving the situation within the defence industry. It is only when we are working together towards a common objective that we can achieve more.
Our ongoing engagements with role players in the South African Defence Industry continues to yield positive results. This was demonstrated when Armscor bid farewell to outbound Defence Attachés, who have been chosen to represent South Africa in various countries across the globe. These men and women in uniform will play an important role in promoting South African defence capabilities.
Despite the challenges encountered in the industry, Armscor continues to promote and assist the South African Defence Industry partners to market their products and services both locally and internationally. The organisation is instrumental in facilitating the process of issuing export permits where international trade occurs. However, the imposed restrictions on some of the international travels make it difficult to facilitate foreign trade. We support the transformation of the defence industry by opening up opportunities for those who were previously disadvantaged to participate in the mainstream economy. Armscor would continue playing its part in ensuring that the objectives of the Defence Sector Charter are realised.
Our efforts of making a difference in communities continue bearing fruits. Through our Corporate Social Investment programme, Armscor in the quarter under review provided food parcels to various communities in Limpopo as part of the social relief. This comes after most of the people lost their income due to the COVID-19. The organisation also conducted the sanitary towels drive wherein learners in four schools in areas around Ga-Mphahlele, Limpopo, got their yearly supply of sanitary towels. We are proud to have provided the Thandanani Drop Inn Centre, in Mamelodi, with basic amenities and equipment such as gas stoves, laptops, cooking pots, freezer, generators and laundry machine. We believe that this donation will enable the Centre to provides essential services to the community of Mamelodi. Over and above its mandate, Armscor will continue to support disadvantaged communities where it is practically possible to do so.
Despite the current lockdown restrictions, we remain optimistic that the defence industry will emerge stronger, repurposed, reenergised and revitalised. In the meantime we shall keep on sanitising, wearing our masks and maintaining social distancing.
Advocate Solomzi Mbada
Chief Executive Officer