Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2003-01-07 Reporter: John Fraser

Delivery of SA Corvette Imminent Despite Delay


Publication  Business Day
Date 2003-01-07


John Fraser

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The German consortium that is supplying four corvettes to the SA navy under the controversial arms for investment offset programme, confirmed last night that it was behind schedule in delivering the first vessel because of the supply of faulty cable for the ship's communications system.

However, the consortium's SA representative, Sven Muller, said yesterday that the delay resulting from the need to replace the cable would be minimal, and that delivery was "imminent".

Muller was responding to a media report that suggested that there could be a delay of as long as five months in the handover of the first Corvette, which would cost millions of rands.

"There has been a problem with the cabling," said Muller, although he would not confirm reports that the faulty cable had been produced by a SA firm.

Muller said that the problem had now been addressed, an SA Navy crew was being trained in the operation of the vessel, and that the delay from the original handover date of December 28 was "minimal we are not talking about months".

"We have been successful in rectifying the problem," he said.

However, Muller would not say who would bear the financial burden for the cost of replacing the faulty cable.

A spokesman for Siemens would not comment on his company's role in the frigate contract, and referred all inquiries to Muller.

With acknowledgements to John Fraser and Business Day.