n African Security Review - The South African Strategic Defence Procurement package and economic growth - are they mutually exclusive? : commentary

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In September 1999 the South African government decided to acquire defence equipment valued then at R30.3 billion in order to retain an effective defence capability. Part of this deal included the National Industrial Participation Programme, which was aimed at developing South Africa's manufacturing sector. After the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) report concerning the possibility of corruption in the Strategic Defence Procurement deal, the view that South Africa does not require the equipment gained in prominence. This has often been backed up by reference to the high and rising levels of unemployment and poverty in South Africa. Many citizens seem to be saying that the money should be used to provide water, build houses or finance social upliftment programmes.


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