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A Johannesburg-based financial services firm will manage and operate a Defence Industry Fund (DIF) to, among others, ensure easier access to defence markets for SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises).  A joint statement, issued by Armscor chief executive Kevin Wakeford and Simphiwe Hamilton, his opposite at AMD (the SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association), has it that the soon-to-be established DIF has its origins in the Defence Review. This document was approved by Parliament just on three years ago after being commissioned in 2012.

The Defence Review, drawn up under the leadership of Roelf Meyer, sets out a long term strategic view of the capabilities needed by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), among others.

Starting with a Request for Information (RfI) in October last year and then a Request for Proposals (RfP) in November, 24 companies with 33 representatives attended a compulsory briefing session at the end of November. Nine - six local and three international - companies made RfI submissions and six local companies submitted proposals as part of the RfP process. Of the six, two were disqualified and four were evaluated in a two-stage process - technical evaluation of submissions and presentations.

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