Business Day (Johannesburg)

24 November 2006

South Africa: More Local Procurement Will Boost Defence Industry -- Erwin

Cape Town — Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin said yesterday that his department was working with the defence department to ensure that a minimum of 60% of the its procurement benefited the country's defence industry.

He said that, at the same time, there was a need to ensure that the defence force did not pay too much for goods and services purchased.

"Any country's domestic defence industry relies on its local customer, which in SA's case is the South African National Defence Force," Erwin said in a written reply to a question in Parliament by Inkatha Freedom Front MP Eugenia Chan.

"International benchmarking shows defence industries in the US, for instance, derive between 85% and 95% of their business from their local customers and in Europe this ranges between 60% and 70%.

"In SA, the figure lies between 35% and 45%," Erwin said.

Meanwhile, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said in reply to another question in Parliament that his department was in the process of finalising aquaculture policy.

The policy aims to increase the contribution of aquatic organisms to economic growth and food security; to effect transformation; to minimise adverse environmental factors; and to increase the diversity of aquaculture from the few species being farmed now to a more heterogeneous spread of species.

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