The man who drove and successfully concluded the renaming of SA Army Reserve Force units and was also instrumental in adding value to this component of the national part-time military corps appears to be past his sell-by date.
A 17 February SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Bulletin, in addition to numerous promotions to the rank of brigadier general, also carried a number of transfers.
One of these was that Brigadier General Gerhard Kamffer, Director SA Army Reserves, would from 1 March be Director: Project Koba-Tlala. This ambitious project aims to provide part-time soldiers with skills ranging from agriculture to security. These will then enable them to earn income when not in uniform and at the same time boost local economies. The project is a Chief SANDF (General Solly Shoke) one and enjoys the support of Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
In response to a defenceWeb enquiry, Defence Corporate Communication said, “The SANDF is still in the process of appointing the next candidate in the position of Director: SA Army Reserves”.
Kamffer took on the challenge of changing the names of Army Reserve units, a project initiated by then Chief of the Army (Lieutenant General Vusi Masondo) eight years ago.
His commitment to expanding the role and utilisation of part-time soldiers is also evident in the Mzantsi Home Guard project currently being developed by the Army Reserve. This will, in time and among others, see Reserve Force soldiers adding value in rural and semi-rural areas providing intelligence on suspected criminal activities and assisting in general rural security operations.
Kamffer has over 40 years’ service in the SA Army starting with national service in 1973 where he served as a platoon commander at 4 SA infantry Battalion, based at Middelburg in what is today Mpumalanga. He was Officer Commanding of the now disbanded Heidelberg Commando for nine years and in 1998 was appointed SSO Commandos at Army headquarters with the substantive rank of Colonel. He successfully completed the Senior Command and Staff Duties course at the SA Army College. In 2005 he was promoted to brigadier general and the following year he successfully completed the Executive National Security programme at Defence College.