Denel sells Mechem's R&D unit to the CSIR

Denel sells Mechem's R&D unit to the CSIR

2001-03-29 18:47

Pretoria - Denel has sold the research-and-development (R&D) portion of its Mechem division to the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for an undisclosed amount, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Denel's group manager for promotions, Sam Basch, said the signing of a contract on Thursday followed the ratification of the CSIR-Denel Mechem deal by government in October last year.

In terms of the contract, the CSIR - a parastatal answering to the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and technology - acquired Mechem's R&D business.

Mechem would retain its humanitarian mine-clearance services.

"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," Basch said.

"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," he said.

Mechem was originally part of the CSIR before becoming part of Armscor and after 1992, part of Denel.

During that time it researched and developed a number of armoured vehicles for police and military use - including the Casspir, an anagram for CSIR and SAP, the former SA police.