Why SA needs Denel and a defence industry
Unless the government acts quickly it will lose the benefits of exports, jobs and technological development
From the late 1960s onwards, SA developed a defence industry with a remarkable breadth and depth of capabilities, from rifles to nuclear weapons and satellites. It became particularly well known for mine-protected vehicles, long-range artillery and secure communications equipment, and surprised with the development of guided weapons and the Rooivalk attack helicopter.
From the end of the 1980s it began to do well internationally, with mine-detection and mine-protected vehicles, long-range artillery, infantry support weapons and some of its guided weapons. Exports reached just over R15bn (in 2020 rand) in 2012...