Policy:

National Policy on Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Arms Control
In pursuance of its national interests and best international non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament practices, South Africa follows a holistic approach and has implemented policy, legislation and control mechanisms in the following areas:
  • Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Dual-use Goods;
  • Conventional Arms and Services;
  • Firearms, ammunition, explosives and pyrotechnics and riot-control;
  • Foreign military assistance; and
  • Activities in support of counter-terrorism.
South African policy on non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament practices can be summarised by the following statements by Government:
  • since the adequate protection of rights to life and security of the person against repression and acts of aggression is fundamental to the well-being and to the social and economic development of every country; and
  • since it is the duty of every government to protect and safeguard the rights of its people; and
  • since every responsible country has the right to acquire arms to equip and defend itself against acts of aggression; and
  • since the Republic is a responsible member of the international community and will not trade in arms with states engaged in repression, aggression and terrorism; and
  • since the Republic is engaged in various aspects of the trade in weapons and related materials, equipment, technology and services; and
  • since South Africa utilises its position as a State Party to Treaties, as a member of the Control Regimes and of the Africa Group and the Non-Aligned Movement to promote the importance of non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control and to ensure that these controls do not become the means whereby the developing countries are prevented from obtaining access to the advanced technologies which they require for their development; and
  • since it is vitally important to ensure accountability in all matters concerning arms trade,  therefore;
  • it is South Africa’s declared national interest in conjunction with its international obligations and commitments, particularly as these relate to non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control, and the implementation of international humanitarian law, to exercise due restraint in the transfer and trade in weapons and related materials, equipment, technology and services.
In a competitive international market it is important that South Africa and its related industry is regarded as a responsible and reliable supplier of weapons and related materials, equipment, technology, aid and services.  The government will support the export initiatives of the related industries by permitting it to contract and honour obligations that have been duly approved.  However, the government reserves the right to prohibit or withdraw such support at any time, should it be in conflict with South Africa’s national or international interests.

South Africa acknowledges the need for consistency and effective interaction between the control authorities and the broad scope of industry.  Trade in weapons/armaments/defence equipment and related materials, equipment, technology and services forms an integral part of South Africa’s foreign-, defence-, trade- and industrial policies and initiatives.

South Africa ’s policy on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction is reflected in legislation and is regularly reviewed in accordance with national and international developments.

In respect of activities related to WMD, South Africa prohibits:
  • the conduct of nuclear explosions and tests in South Africa;
  • any person, whether for offensive or defensive purposes, to be or become involved in any activity or with goods that contribute to Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes;
  • any person to be or become involved in any dual-use goods or activities that could contribute to WMD:
    • with countries, individuals, groups, undertakings and entities subject to restrictions imposed by the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter; and
    • with countries, individuals, groups, undertakings and entities involved in international terrorism, including non-State actors.
In a competitive international market it is important that South Africa and its related industry is regarded as a responsible and reliable supplier of weapons and related materials, equipment, technology, aid and services.  The government will support the export initiatives of the related industries by permitting it to contract and honour obligations that have been duly approved.  However, the government reserves the right to prohibit or withdraw such support at any time, should it be in conflict with South Africa’s national or international interests.
South Africa acknowledges the need for consistency and effective interaction between the control authorities and the broad scope of industry.  Trade in weapons/armaments/defence equipment and related materials, equipment, technology and services forms an integral part of South Africa’s foreign-, defence-, trade- and industrial policies and initiatives.
South Africa ’s policy on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction is reflected in legislation and is regularly reviewed in accordance with national and international developments.

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