Any change of name for the Armscor building is not likely to happen soon as “extensive consultation” has to happen before any decision is reached.
An Armscor internal bulletin seeking a new name for the building overlooking the N1 highway in Pretoria’s south-eastern suburb Erasmuskloof suggested the name of a person, place, animal or symbol “reflective of South Africa” as potentials.
It also noted the name submitted, if that of a person, “should be of someone who fought various wars that contributed to the dawn of democracy before 1994, someone who contributed significantly to the military struggle before 1994 and represents the values of Armscor or someone prominent who has a prominent influence in society either through music, arts and literature. A person who is synonymous for creating unity and demonstrating values associated with Ubuntu”.
defenceWeb readers were, by and large, derogatory of any name change for the building which also houses the Defence Ministry, Department of Defence headquarters as well as SA National Defence Force (SANDF) headquarters.
One said: “Looking at the so called guidelines, only MK so-called heroes will be looked at, never any person who actually got the Armscor structure off the ground and gasp, gasp a white person! Otherwise how about a rap or kwaito singer which will represent what our arms industry is about?”
Another reader felt Armscor would be better off doing the job its was set up for and pointed out there were currently only two items on its tender bulletin.
A third was of the opinion “a name change is wasteful expenditure which doesn’t stop at any decision to ‘baptise’ a building. It has unnecessary implications and costs but I wonder if anyone at the ‘glass castle’ cares”.
Advocate Ndodomzi Mvambo, Acting Group Executive: Corporate Support at the state-owned defence and security acquisition agency, said the name change “process” involves extensive consultation. This is limited to what are called “internal key stakeholders”.
“In due course, recommendations will be presented to a committee that will make a final determination about the name. We cannot share any further details until the process is finalised which could be towards the end of the year.”