Reserve Force currently sans Chief, same at Army Reserves

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The “one force” concept and doctrine does not appear to have filtered up to the top echelons of SA National Defence Force (SANDF) management with two key posts in the Reserve Force currently vacant and no indication of when appointments will be made.

This is in contrast with the Presidential announcement of a new national defence force chief and chiefs of some services and divisions six weeks ahead of the new appointees taking office.

When former major general Roy Andersen stood down at the end of May as Chief: Defence Reserves he left with 32 years’ experience in the part-time component of the national defence force.

defenceWeb asked, prior and again subsequently to his departure, who will replace the now retired two-star.

The official response this week from the directorate: corporate communication (DCC) of the SANDF reads: “In the wake of new appointments and placements of the SANDF General Officers, Flag Officers and Senior Officers in the year 2021, the SANDF is yet to appoint candidates for the positions of Chief Director Defence Reserves as well as Director Army Reserves following retirement of Major General Roy Anderson with effect from 31 May 2021 and the appointment of Brigadier General Gerhard Kamffer as Director Project Koba-Tlala with effect from 01 March 2021 respectively (sic)”.

Kamffer’s departure is seen by insiders as a loss to the landward component of the Reserve Force – its single largest one and while not currently part of continental deployments an active contributor to the national border protection tasking Operation Corona. Indications are Reserve Force soldiers, in all probability from infantry and motorised infantry regiments, will be called on for service in currently the only South African commitment to continental peacekeeping – MONUSCO and its Southern African Development Community (SADC) staffed Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in DR Congo.

Kamffer exited the Chief: Army Reserves post in March when he was named director of Project Koba-Tlala. He along with a handful of Reserve Force project officers were the masterminds and driving force behind the project which, among others, attempts to provide capacity building and training enabling Reserves, when not in uniform, to work. The project has the backing of Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and previous SANDF chief Solly Shoke also gave it his nod of approval.

Unconfirmed at the time of publishing, but fairly widely known, is either the previous or a former SA Army Signal Formation commander replaced Kamffer as Chief: Army Reserves. This was not denied by a DCC senior officer defenceWeb spoke to. This publication was told the appointment of a new Chief: Army Reserves was “in the finalisation process at SANDF Human Resources”.