Wednesday, 12 September 2012

South Africa Has Sold Weaponry Worth R4.8 Billion in 2012

The South African government has approved the sale of R4.88 billion worth of military equipment this year, according to a report by the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).

The NCACC, in its latest report, stated that the government had approved contracts worth R2.8 billion between April 1 and June 30 this year, including R2.25 million worth of military equipment to Zimbabwe. Contracts with 50 countries were signed, among them India, Gabon, the USA and China.

For the period January to March 2012, the NCACC approved 16 contracts worth R521 million and approved 437 export permits to 42 countries worth R1.56 billion. On the other hand, the NCACC approved 293 import permits covering 23 countries worth R57 million for the same period.

The trade in conventional arms and the rendering of foreign military assistance is regulated by the NCACC, which reports to Parliament, as well as the Directorate Conventional Arms Control (DCAC). South African arms traders are required to be registered with the DCAC. Permits are required for weapons development and manufacturing, marketing, contracting, exporting, importing or transferring of conventional arms. This includes; weapons, munitions, vessels designed for war, articles of war, and related systems, components, technologies, dual-use goods or services.

The NCACC also reports on military exercises and peacekeeping operations. Between January and March this year South Africa conducted peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, continued with the anti-piracy Operation Copper with Mozambique and conducted a Southern African Development Community training and skills exchange exercise with Zambia.

In its 2011 annual report for January to December last year, the NCAAC revealed that it had issued 369 contracting permits covering 78 countries. These contracts were worth R32.59 billion. A total of 3 672 export permits were issued to 82 countries and these were worth R9.18 billion. At the same time, R4.2 billion worth of import permits were issued last year, with equipment imported from 65 countries.

Figures released to Parliament show that South Africa exported R8.329 billion worth of arms to 89 countries in 2010 versus R7.812 billion to 96 nations in 2009 and R5.898 billion to 88 states in 2008.

A number of military exercises, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid and military training operations took place last year, including Operation Copper with Mozambique, Exercise Stalwart with Botswana, the capacity building Operation Vimbezela with the Central African Republic, Exercise Good Tidings with Malawi, Exercise Stalwart with Namibia, Exercise Shared Accord with the United States, Operation Ikhala with Ghana, Operation Vryheid with the Ivory Coast and the peacekeeping Operation Mistral in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The South African military took part in several military shooting competitions in 2011, including the Military World Games in Brazil, and the British Small-Bore Competition in the United Kingdom.

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