If Denel collapses, so will SA’s defence industry - warns Parly’s Cyril Xaba

Members like Cyril Xaba painted a bleak picture of the state of Denel and how this could affect other companies in the sector.

FILE: The National Assembly has adopted the committee’s report. Picture: @DenelSOC/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - If state-owned arms manufacturer Denel collapses, so will the country’s multibillion-rand defence industry.

That’s the warning from Cyril Xaba, chairperson of the joint Standing Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.

Xaba was addressing a National Assembly sitting on Thursday where MPs considered the committee’s report on engaging the defence industry.

The committee considered its engagement with defence role players from July 2019 to November 2020.

Members like Xaba painted a bleak picture of the state of Denel and how this could affect other companies in the sector.

He said the country should enhance its defence capabilities and Denel should be a key focus.

“The committee welcomes the turnaround strategy to reposition Denel and other measures taken to intervene in its affairs. Denel must be saved. If it goes down, it will go down with parts of the defence industry.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Sarel Marais agreed with Xaba, saying the declining defence budget was the biggest challenge facing the sector.

“It seems little to no political will exists to rescue this industry and to recoup the defence force to protect our nation in a sustainable manner.”

The National Assembly has adopted the committee’s report.

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