Air force not coping with govt's travel demands - SAAF chief

2015-11-10 13:15
President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - The South African Air Force is not coping with the demand for intercontinental travel by government officials - and that is why it needed to buy a new jet.

"The current fleet of VIP aircraft cannot sustain the current air transport requests from the SAAF VIP clients as tasked," SAAF Chief Fabian Msimang told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"The SA Air Force therefore has a need to increase their capacity to provide intercontinental air transportation to members of the SA Government."

Msimang made the announcement during a media briefing to clarify the issue regarding the procurement of a new jet which was speculated to cost over R4bn. He said over the years, the availability of the inter-continental aircraft of SAAF has been problematic, making it difficult for them to fulfil their responsibility.

"The absence of the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) and other VIP aircraft for four months during its scheduled maintenance periods aggregates the vulnerability of the SAAF in providing the indicated service," said Msimang.

CEO of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa SOC (Armscor) CEO Kevin Wakeford has rubbished reports that they would be spending R4bn on the plane. He said they were still seeking information.

“We can’t afford the R4bn being speculated on. We are requesting information. We don't know what the form of ownership is going to be because we have not gotten there yet. The affordability will determine the selection of the eventual solution and financing options,” he said.

Wakeford further explained that the current request for information was to determine what type of permutations met the requirements and the platform requirements.

“We are not going to be irresponsible. Once we have the full details, we will liaise with SAAF and go forward. A Request For Information (RFI) is to test the market in terms of availability and product options and is not binding,” said Wakeford.

He added that he had not ruled out the possibility of the new aeroplane being used as a multipurpose jet. He categorically denied that a price had already been set for the plane.

“The budget will be determined by what's out there and what's available,” he said.  

Read more on:    saaf  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.