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Vol 44 No 18

Published 12th September 2003


South Africa

Butter on those guns

The Strategic Defence Procurement Package was signed in November 1999, six months after Thabo Mbeki took over from Nelson Mandela as president. The largest arms procurement programme in the nation's history, it binds it contractually for twelve years. Payable in US dollars, it totalled US$4.8 billion (30 bn. rand at the 1999 exchange rate). Inflation and exchange costs raised that to R43 bn.; currency fluctuations pushed it up to about R60 bn., then down again.

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