Armscor UN supply endeavours remain fruitless, same for international equipment disposal


Armscor efforts to become part of the UN supply chain, particularly in Africa, have to date not yielded any positive results with another more recent agreement to sell foreign surplus and redundant military equipment also yet to translate into revenue.

This was the State-owned defence and security acquisition agency’s response to defenceWeb questions.

Armscor registered as a UN vendor over five years ago. According to Advocate Ndodomzi Mvambo, Group Executive: Corporate Support, there are “no positive results to date from that registration”.

Last November, Armscor made public an agreement with the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) of the UK Ministry of Defence. This saw, according to Armscor, implementation of an International Disposal Solutions (IDS) initiative.

It has not yet resulted in sales with Mvambo telling defenceWeb “there has been interest from the SA defence industry”. This is as far as collaborating with local companies “that have established networks and clientele” and others with “inherent capabilities” in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

“It is premature to indicate whether the activity has had success to date as we are still in engagements on areas of interest,” he said.

At the moment, Armscor’s running tender offers show procurement taking priority over acquisition.

Tracksuits for the SA Air Force (SAAF) and “manufacture and supply of various uniform garments” as well as “various rank insignia”, also for the airborne service, are three tenders currently seeking response. Also on the list are pantyhose for the SA Army and “black mess dress” socks for – presumably – the male of the species who has to don formal military wear from time to time.

The Erasmusrand-headquartered SOC, which is a responsibility of the Defence and Military Veterans Ministry, is also seeking a service provider to digitise its micrographic archive. It further asks for expressions of interest as regards “establishing a panel of external legal representatives”.

As far as its major client – the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) – is concerned, Armscor wants suppliers of service providers for spares for SAS Protea (A324), the long-serving SA Navy hydrographic vessel as well as spares for diving equipment used in the maritime service. The fleet also is in need of anti-flash hoods and gloves while the dockyard, operated and managed by Armscor, needs timber for synchrolift deck planks and bearers. A tender for 200 Sig Sauer P226 handguns is the lone current one with a direct bearing on ensuring South Africa’s armed forces are properly equipped with “tools of the trade”.