Mandela film link to arms deal

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iol news pic NY Premiere of Mandela- Long Walk To Freedom~1 Andy Kropa/Invision/AP Actor Idris Elba, left, and actress Naomie Harris, right, attend the New York premiere of "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom".

Johannesburg - The movie of Long Walk to Freedom was an arms deal offset worth €300 million (R4.5bn) to submarine builders.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) handed lists of offset projects arising from the 1999 arms deal to the Arms Procurement Commission hearings in Pretoria this week.

Under the projects by the German Submarine Consortium (GSC), which sold submarines to the SANDF, is a project called “LWTF – The movie”.

It’s described as “investment into the production of the Long Walk to Freedom movie” in the Western Cape, resulting in 69 new jobs and 138 indirect jobs. The list logs €25m in total actual investments, €7.5m in actual obligor investments, €120m in investment credits and €180m in sales credits, and the DTI gave the GSC €300m in offset credits in return.

There are more than 100 offset projects listed. Many did not materialise beyond planning stages, but credits were nonetheless issued.

The offsets were the requirement that companies which won contracts had obligations under the National Industrial Programme, which is aimed at encouraging foreign investment in terms of a 1996 cabinet policy.

Obligors – the contractors – submitted project proposals to the DTI, which monitored the projects’ performance by awarding the required credits until the obligation was discharged, said Sipho Zikode, DTI deputy director-general for the broadening participation division.

The list says the total actual investments by arms deal contractors was €149.4m.

The offset projects created a total of 38 895 new jobs and saved or retained 12 541 jobs, said the list. In return, the DTI credited the contractors with 3.1 billion euros in offset credits.

The late Joe Modise told Parliament in March 1999, when he was defence minister, that the arms deal would create 65 000 jobs and R110bn in industrial offsets.

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