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SA: Thandi Modise: Address by Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, during the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) 2022 media briefing (20/09/2022)


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SA: Thandi Modise: Address by Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, during the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) 2022 media briefing (20/09/2022)

Image of Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise

23rd September 2022


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Programme Director;
Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mr Thabang Makwetla;
Secretary for Defence, Ambassador Sonto Kudjoe;
Chief for the South African National Defence Force, General Rudzani Maphwanya;
Members of the Plenary Defence Staff Council;
Board Members and the Executives of AMD, Armscor and CAASA;
Captains of industry from the South African Defence Industry;
The AAD Organising team;
Members of the media;
Ladies and gentlemen;

Thanks for joining us this morning as we prepare to stage one of the most momentous events on the defence industry’s calendar. From 21 – 25 September 2022, we will be hosting the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) here at the Waterkloof Air Force Base under the theme: Exploring New Paths, Sharing Solutions and Showcasing Innovation and Capabilities.


No doubt, AAD is the largest defence and aerospace exhibition in Africa.  Through the exhibition and air show, we primarily seek to showcase the capabilities of the armed forces from both South Africa and abroad. Over the years, AAD has become synonymous with South African excellence, world class capability and, of course, our exceptional warmth and hospitality. The show boasts a unique format of a combined exhibition of air, sea and land technologies, a static aircraft display and an air show.

The AAD takes place every two years and has grown significantly over the last twenty years. Sadly, we were unable to hold AAD in 2020 due to the restrictions that were occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. This invisible but debilitating enemy literally brought the world we live in to a grinding halt. Nothing could have prepared us for the harsh reality of the past year and a half. It became the new normal.


Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) is an event that carries a wealth of history. It is a rich legacy that has been built over the last 20 years. Indeed, the story of AAD is a story of dedication, hard work and commitment to sheer excellence.

In this regard, I wish to commend the AAD partners for consistently staging an exhibition and air show that rivals the best in the world. I am informed that AAD ranks amongst the top six defence exhibitions of the world in terms of its magnitude, scale and size.

It is also heartening to note that with each edition, this show delivers real impact on the economy of, not only the host city, but also that of Gauteng and the country as a whole. The AAD serves South Africa by contributing to job creation and the fiscus. AAD 2018 edition generated a taxation revenue of R160 million. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will exceed this target.

This eleventh edition of AAD will bring together the largest gathering of aerospace and defence industry decision makers and buyers from around the world, including many from Africa.

The defence industry plays a key role in assisting the SANDF to discharge its constitutional mandate of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of South Africa and to secure our nation. By ensuring security and stability, the SANDF, in turn, helps to create an enabling environment for economic growth and development. Through our peacekeeping missions, we are similarly contributing to peace, stability and prosperity on our continent.

This year, Turkey is our biggest exhibitor with 25 companies participating on the Turkish Pavilion. They have doubled their space from the previous 2018 exhibition.

Let me share with you some details about this year’s show:

The format will again comprise of three trade days and two air show days which will consist of the following elements: Indoor and outdoor exhibitions, A hospitality chalet line, Static aircraft park, Capability demonstrations and displays, Parallel events with conferences, seminars and Business to Business (B2B) meetings and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) demonstrations.

AAD will once again give exhibitors and trade visitors a unique opportunity to interact directly with various stakeholders over the trade days and allow for the public to witness the spectacular display of the Airforce and Aviation Sector. According to the organisers, there are 200 exhibitors from 24 countries, with nine (9) National Pavilions.  Seventy percent of exhibitors are local.

AAD 2022 feature 2 SMME pavilions hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition and Gauteng Growth and Development Agency. A total of 15 companies will be hosted. This is consistent with our understanding that small businesses are a catalyst for the much needed economic growth and sustained development of our country.

Youth empowerment has remained an integral component of AAD. The AAD Youth Development Program will be showcasing advanced aviation, defence, and aerospace technologies to 10 000 learners from South Africa. It is anticipated that pilots from the South African Air Force (SAAF) and United States Air Force (USAF) will also be having motivational sessions with learners.

Learners will be guided on opportunities in space technology and the importance of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics subjects. South African Airways (SAA) would be flying learners from Durban and Cape Town. These learners will be experiencing the joy of flying for the very first time. They will then be escorted by our own South African Air Force members using the Gautrain to get to Air Force Waterkloof.

Learners will also be exposed to AI-driven drone technology designed by learners from Wits University School of Engineering, 3D printing (Additive manufacturing). The South African National Defence Force will also be showcasing various technologies from the South African Army (including our Special Forces), SA Airforce, SA Navy, and South African Medical Health Services. Learners will be exposed to exciting technologies such as Robotics and Drone Technology.

We are excited to welcome exhibitors and delegates from 24 countries from all corners of the globe, including Ministers of Defence, Deputy Ministers, Secretary of Defence, Chiefs of Defence Force, Chiefs of the Army, Chiefs of the Air Force and Chiefs of Medical Services. We look forward to hosting yet another exciting edition of the exhibition and show, where, among other things, our defence industry will be showcasing South Africa’s air capabilities.

I thank you.


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