Landmine detection and clearance in progress. Whereas Denel will undertake humanitarian mine clearance on behalf of the Government, the CSIR will continue research & development into mine-clearance technologies and landmine protection for vehicles.
[Photograph by Alf Yssel]
In terms of the contract, the CSIR acquires Mechem¿s R&D business. The humanitarian mine-clearance services developed by Denel will be retained by Denel still under the Mechem name.
The R&D competencies and facilities within Mechem are to be transferred to the CSIR as part of the CSIR¿s endeavours to establish a co-ordinated and integrated defence technology capability.
The acquisition will enable the CSIR to develop its landwards defence technology capability through research and development for the army and special forces, research into humanitarian mine clearing and development of land-mine protection for vehicles. The CSIR plans to expand its technological capability in these areas.
Denel, in turn, retains Mechem¿s humanitarian demining capability in order to focus on securing mine-clearing contracts, especially in neighbouring countries in Southern Africa and internationally. The divesting of the non-core R&D portion of Mechem forms part of the Government¿s restructuring of Denel. As a state-owned enterprise, Denel will still be undertaking humanitarian mine clearing on behalf of the Government.
"We are at an important restructuring milestone in Denel¿s history," said Flip Botha. "In this process, we are also forging closer links with the CSIR as an important research facility, which is expanding its defence technology capabilities for our mutual benefit."
CSIR¿s Anthos Yannakou welcomed the contract saying that it highlights the CSIR¿s global and local role as a knowledge intensive technology organisation.