President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially launched the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD2018) at the Air Force Base in Waterkloof.
Ramaphosa said the country viewed the role of the military as a developmental force, both nationally and continentally.
“It brings defence agencies and defence industry together to reflect on the evolution of security – and how they must each adapt to the requirements of the future.”
“The African Aerospace and Defence Exhibition offers a massive opportunity for all present to identify areas of synergy and convert them into joint ventures,” Ramaphosa said.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga also attended the event.
The South African army parade entertained the crowd and a brief air show took place before Ramaphosa took to the podium.
Ramaphosa said the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) formed part of the continental military intervention capability, which could reduce the risk of major interstate conflict and civil war.
He highlighted the role the SANDF played in exporting defence equipment to over 80 countries.
According to Ramaphosa, rapidly growing, migrating and urbanising populations were putting economies under pressure.
He said data should be collected at border posts and from defence-related surveillance technology to allow governments to define and manage trends.
The border safeguarding operation, Corona, focused on preventing the illegal exploitation of national resources.
Ramaphosa said socio-economic objectives should be prioritised to provide the best possible future for the youth.
“Our economy is under pressure and the means available in the fiscus are finite.
“The leveraging of the economic value of many types of assets of the defence force is under development, alongside improvements in the efficiency of the defence force and the rejuvenation of the defence human resources component,” he said.
Wednesday marked the 10th Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition.