Role of Council for Non-Proliferation is not to Prohibit but to Promote Compliance to the Act

The role of the Council for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is not to prohibit exporters and importers of dual-use items, but to promote compliance to the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act.  This was said by the Director of Scientific Support at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Mr Matome Mookodi during the quarterly education and promotion outreach programme with companies involved in the aerospace and missiles industry that took place in Somerset West, in the Western Cape.

The outreach was driven and implemented by the Non-Proliferation Council of WMDs which is mandated on behalf of South Africa to regulate dual-use items which can be used to manufacture WMDs. The Council is housed within the International Trade and Economic Development (ITED) Division of the dti.

Mookodi explained that interactive sessions of this nature with the industry were critical because dual-use items impacted upon by the WMDs Act have a commercial engineering day-to-day operations. He added that indiscriminate prohibition of their manufacture may deny the industry components that it would need to build everyday products that are used by the general public.

“When we talk to the industry our interaction is based on the fact of how we can lessen the burden of regulation on the industry without totally stopping the mandate of the Council. Instead we are looking at ways of how we can lessen the burden of regulation upon the industry so that they can continue industrialising and providing much needed jobs. What we are also saying to the industry, especially when embarking on individual company visits is that our job is to regulate and not to impede industrialisation of commercial application of dual-use items,” he said.

Mookodi further said that it was incumbent upon the Council to administer these outreaches in order to give an overview of the Council to members, to familiarise relating to its functions and legislations and to most importantly, ensure that the industry complies to the Missile Technology Control Regime Regulation.

Ms Michelle Nxumalo from the South African Aerospace Maritime and Defence Industries Association who was in attendance on behalf of her association commended the Council for organising workshops and added that the information sharing and exchanges were key in assisting companies understand what they needed to do in order to be compliant.

“As a registered member of the Council the information shared with us today is very critical specifically in terms of defence exports as we have over 60% which contributes towards exports. It is of the utmost importance that our members are compliant so they can have all the permits readily available when they need to export to various countries. We hope to see further engagements in other provinces where our members are based as it is very important to be briefed and updated on various regulations within government,” she said.

The Director of Scientific support at the dti, Mr Matome Mookodi together with the dti Director of Compliance and Enforcement, Ms Florah Mamashela during the education outreach programme with companies involved in the aerospace and missiles industry in the Western Cape.

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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