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South Africa defence market: $5.3 billion industry in 2013
Future of the South African Defense Industry - Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2018 - a new market research report on 2014-04-17 16:11:01
Expenditure in the South Africa defence market registered a CAGR of 9.2% during the review period and values US$5.3 billion in 2013. The focus of the South African government will be on crime, peacekeeping missions, border security, and military modernization initiatives to drive defense expenditure.

Managing the weapons acquisition process is a challenge to both the political and technical systems in South Africa. The South African defense policy frameworks, written in the 1990s, have been proven unsuitable by several procurements, most notably the US$3.5 billion Strategic Defense Package of 1999, which was marred by corruption and irregularity. As a result, functions, mandates, and roles that were not envisaged at the time have been written into current defense force roles.

Increasing concerns regarding the obsolescence of South Africa´s military arsenal has enabled many foreign companies to enter the South African defense market by offering superior defense products. For instance, Boeing made its initial entry into the South African defense market with a major presence at the Africa Aerospace and Defense Expo in 2008, and the offer of the CH-47 Chinook as a solution to South Africa´s heavy airlift requirements.

In the review period, there were a growing number of joint ventures between European and South African defense firms. The South African government is encouraging joint ventures as these deals enable the transfer of technology, allow domestic firms to enter the global supply chain, and encourage long-term investment into research and development. For instance, Saab AB, a defense company based in Sweden, entered into a US$35 million joint venture with a South African defense company, Denel, in order to manufacture aircraft components.

[South Africa´s arms imports are dominated by Sweden due to the purchase of Gripen aircraft in 2010 and 2011 respectively. In order to replace Dassault Mirage III, the South African Air Force (SAAF) acquired 26 Swedish-built Saab Gripen C and D model fighters in 2012. During 2008-2012, 61.2% of the country´s arms imports were from Sweden, 23.1% from Germany, 7.7% from UK, 5.3% from USA, 1.6% from Italy, 0.9% from Israel, and 0.3% from France.

The African Economic Outlook data for 2009 shows corruption in South Africa to be the fourth-highest of the 53 countries in the African region. In 2009, South Africa´s corruption perception index (CPI), a score that is based on the degree of corruption as perceived by industry professionals and country analysts, and ranges between 10 (highly uncorrupt) and 0 (highly corrupt), is estimated at 4.7 - far above the African average of 2.86. The decision made by South Africa´s first democratically elected government to purchase ZAR30 billion (US$3.5 billion) worth of weapons in 1999 has been the single largest, and one of the most controversial, defense procurement deals in post-apartheid South African history.

In South Africa, the lack of transparency in arms procurement processes remains a common challenge, obstructing an informed debate on any arms trade treaty among countries and aiding corruption. Furthermore, distrust between countries often escalates, leading to the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of arms.

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