ADDRESS BY DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE OFFICIAL AAD2020 LAUNCH

Programme Director;
Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke;
Chief Defence Materiel, Dr Mthobisi Zondi;
HE High Commissioner Nomathemba Tambo and the SA Embassy office;
Armscor Deputy Chairperson, and members of the Board;
AMD Chairperson and members of the Board;
Representatives of the dti;
South African exhibitors;
AAD international agents and partners;
Captains of Defence Industry;
Members of the media;
Ladies and gentlemen

Under the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Aerospace and Defence Potential”, I welcome Ministries of Defence of various countries present here today, our International Partners and agents, captains of the global defence industry, members of the media and other distinguished guests.

AAD is the largest aerospace and defence exhibition in Africa and the ONLY one of its kind, boasting a successful combined exhibition of air, sea and land technologies, a static aircraft display and an air show. Significantly, AAD is the largest assembly of African leaders and decision makers, undoubtedly a gateway to doing business in Africa and a key catalyst and partner to unlocking business potential and partnerships.

In his opening speech at AAD 2018, Hon President Cyril Ramphosa highlighted the significant opportunity that the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition offers in identifying and converting areas of synergies into joint ventures. These business ventures invariably translate into technology growth, employment, skills development and economic stimulus.

By hosting this event, South Africa showcases its interest in growing
the economy and that of its neighbouring countries through leveraging intellectual property into tangible products and export contracts.

Planning for AAD2020 is well underway, with 40 % of the space booked and the organisers are working tirelessly to ensure that the 11 th edition of AAD is a resounding success for all the exhibitors, key partners and trade visitors. Testimony to this is that just in the last 2 days, the organisers have successfully signed up both Belgium and the USA as national pavilions and we await all other defence producing nations to do the same in the
next few weeks.

AAD is expected to attract over 400 exhibitors from at least 35 countries, over 10 00 000 visitors a day to AAD – many of them decision-makers in the global Defence, security and aviation sectors. The 2020 edition will also offer participants strategic platforms to engage in dialogue and discourse on international aerospace and Defence and other related best practices.

In closing, you may have noted that in his address at the Swartkop Air Show on the 7th of September, the Chief of the SA Air Force – Lt Gen ZF Msimang – noted that AAD 2020 takes place not only in SA’s Heritage Month of September but also in a year that marks the centennial commemoration of the SAAF as the second oldest Air Force in the world.It is no secret that for a very long time, the history of the SAAF has been one dimensional
and has often been told from the perspective of our erstwhile predecessors who sadly were also our colonisers and oppressors. Such an approach to our history has managed to diminish and undermine the cold weight of oppression and humiliation that was felt by the majority. In the interest of advancing the SA nation building project, we therefore are duty bound to reconfigure the SAAF and SANDF heritage landscape to ensure that it
reflects the diversity and the incredible efforts all South Africans and especially those who fought for the liberation of SA from the clutches of apartheid. It is in this context that the SAAF has chosen the theme of “100 years of Air Power, through 25 years of Democracy”. Commencing on the 1st of February 2020, SAAF 100 will culminate in the spectacular displays of air superiority in the 2 public days of AAD 2020 and we invite all Air Forces to bring their assets in celebration of this momentous achievement.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I now declare AAD2020 officially Launched, and I invite you save the dates September 16th to 20th of September 2020 at the AFB Waterkloof in Tshwane. South Africa is open for business and partnerships to mutually benefit us all.

Thank you

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