The role of the defence sector in unlocking economic opportunities

The incoming NEC has also called on to look at extending the support given to the families of former MK combatants. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

The incoming NEC has also called on to look at extending the support given to the families of former MK combatants. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

The sub-committee on peace and stability at the ANC’s national conference in Nasrec resolved to find ways of unlocking economic opportunities using the country’s defence sector.

Sub-committee chairperson David Mahlobo said, in particular, the ANC would look at creating industrialisation opportunities.

“Nothing has changed around defence except the issue around using defence as an innovation hub and the capability to be able to create our own revenue,” Mahlobo said.

“Because your defence industry can contribute to industrialisation, it can create other opportunities that are there”.

At its June policy conference the party discussed the possibility of moving state-owned arms manufacturer Denel from the public enterprises department to the department of defence, which would have financial oversight over the entity.

The cash-strapped Denel has found itself at the centre of state capture allegations involving the Guptas.

While no fixed resolution was taken on the proposed move, the sub-committee called on the incoming NEC to work closely with the government to ensure stability at Denel.

On the issue of military veterans, the ANC resolved to look into the possibility of regulating the use and access to paraphernalia by disbanded military structures.

“The use of paraphernalia by all disbanded structures whether its Azanla, MKMVA , the Broederbond you can name all of them… you can’t have a situation in the country where there is ease of access of paraphernalia. We’ll have to be able to regulate that matter”.

This would also involve considerations of regulating the dress code of private security officials who the party said sometimes dressed in a similar fashion to official law enforcement personnel, which created confusion.

The incoming NEC was also called on to look at extending the support given to the families of former MK combatants.

“The incoming NEC must look into the possibility of extending support to the families of those that are deceased who are former combatants, because the conditions they find themselves in must be improved,” Mahlobo said.

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