In addition to being the acquisition agency for SA National Defence Force (SANDF) equipment, Armscor brokers its redundant military equipment.
This service resides in the State-owned company’s Defence Disposal Solutions (DDS) division. It offers for sale excess and obsolete defence materiel on behalf of the Department of Defence (DoD) “to the best advantage of the state” according to Armscor. Stock includes aircraft, spares, vessels, land and/or air-based equipment and ammunition larger than 12.7mm.
To date this year this has seen no longer required Boeing 707 spares offered by way of tender E/2022/200, which closed on 21 April; tender E/2022/211 for redundant naval and defence equipment, which closed on 17 May, as well as two more tenders issued this month. E/2023/18 is for either the sale or destruction of various empty ammunition containers and scrap metal (aluminium and steel) and E/2023/19 for the sale of “armoured vehicles and various defence equipment”. The armoured vehicle tender closes on 5 July and the scrap metal and ammunition tender closes on 12 July.
A defenceWeb inquiry brought to light the armoured vehicles are “unserviceable, very old museum pieces” offered “voetstoots” (as is) and can be viewed at the SA Army Support Base in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.
Twenty-one items are on offer with all sales having to pass muster by the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) before approval of private ownership.
Three Eland and the same number of Ferret armoured cars as well as a “Ford armoured car” are listed along with six Vickers machine guns, a “gun air” and three machine gun bodies without barrels. Probably the most intriguing listing is “tank” with prospective bidders having to personally find out whether it’s a Centurion or container for water.
On the Boeing spares and “ships’ spares and other defence equipment” Armscor Corporate Communication, again in response to a defenceWeb inquiry, said the “evaluation process” for both is complete. As is SOP (standard operating procedure) Armscor “awaits approval for a domestic transfer from the NCACC to the preferred bidder for controlled items”. Only once “all processes are concluded” will preferred bidders be informed. Prospective buyers also have to comply with Armscor broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) stipulations before being considered potential buyers.
Armscor Corporate Communications sidestepped defenceWeb’s question on specifics of items up for sale, such as engines, engine components, barrels and turrets. The response read: “Unfortunately, Armscor DDS does not have information regarding what the SANDF does not want in its storage until a disposal request is received from our client (sic)”. Tender documents seen by defenceWeb are generally vague with on-site inspections seemingly the only way to ascertain what is up for disposal.