JOHANNESBURG --- South Africa has made a subtle change to arms export rules that could unlock more than a billion dollars of weapons sales to countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
A notice published in the government gazette on May 11 alters the circumstances under which South African officials can perform inspections to verify that customers are not transferring weapons to third parties.
Some of the main buyers of South African arms, including governments in the Gulf and North Africa, had refused to agree to the inspections because they considered them a violation of their sovereignty.
Reuters reported in February that the government was planning to change the inspection clause in an arms export document following months of lobbying by defence firms and trade unions who said thousands of jobs were at stake.
The clause will now read: “It is agreed that on-site verification of the controlled items may be performed, through diplomatic process,” according to the notice signed by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.
Click here for the MoD’s announcement of the new clause, on the South African Government website.