Depending on which suggestion is approved, the Armscor Building could soon sport the name of a person, place, animal or symbol reflective of South Africa.
The executive committee of the State-owned defence and security acquisition agency has approved a call for renaming the multi-storey reflective-fronted building on the eastern side of the N1 highway, close to its intersection with Pretoria’s Rigel Avenue.
In addition to Armscor, the building is home to the Department of Defence, including the Defence Secretariat; the Defence Ministry, currently under the leadership of Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; and SA National Defence Force (SANDF) headquarters.
An internal bulletin, seen by defenceWeb, provides guidelines for those thinking of submitting new names. While not specifying restrictions it is clear only submissions by Armscor employees will be accepted.
The bulletin notes further that “the name (submitted) 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 represent 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.”
The name, according to the bulletin, does not have to be “about a person, it can be a place, animal, symbol, heritage site, monument or equipment that is reflective and symbolises the country, South Africa”.
Shortlisted names will be submitted to the Armscor executive committee for approval and the winning name will entitle its originator to a hamper of “Armscor promotional materials”.
The acquisition agency currently finds itself under the leadership of an acting chief executive following the departure of Kevin Wakeford. He left Armscor at the end of February while apparently working out a six-month resignation period which started soon after the end of Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) in September. That saw Advocate Solomzi Mbada take up the reins as acting chief executive, a position he looks set to fill for some time yet.
In response to a defenceWeb enquiry Advocate Ndodomzi Mvambo, acting Armscor Group Executive: Corporate Support said: “The recruitment of the chief executive officer falls within the scope of the board of director (sic). The board may consider the process therefor (sic) in its sitting scheduled for June 2019 and pronounce accordingly”.