Austerity, rather than ostentation, will mark the Armscor fiftieth


The current board and management of Armscor will this year mark the 50th anniversary of the State-owned defence and security acquisition agency, but there will be no gala events, coffee table books or commemorative conferences.

“The Armscor executive committee took a decision to celebrate the organisation’s golden jubilee by marking the event, while recognising the need to contain costs in line with its fiscal allocation. There will be no major commemorative events, but the anniversary will be noted in a small stakeholder engagement event with key stakeholders,” Solomzi Mbada, Armscor group executive; corporate support, said in response to a defenceWeb enquiry.

Chief executive Kevin Wakeford notes in the first Armscor newsletter of the year that “going forward, our commitment goes beyond business savvy and good governance.
“We are concerned for those previously excluded and are making the necessary plans to accommodate previously disadvantaged individuals. We firmly acknowledge ours is a past that has gone through challenges but are proud we have risen above the negative past and become an organisation that embraces transformation, providing opportunities for previously marginalised communities.”

He also points out Armscor is “poised” to leverage its property assets for business and commercial use to generate revenue.

To date this has seen the defence and security acquisition agency partner with the SA Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SABPP) in the signing of the Property Management Empowerment Policy. The Armscor newsletter has it that “exploiting opportunities for revenue generation through sweating of its property assets, among other initiatives” will play a part in further transformation of the South African property industry.

Plans appear to include building a bush lodge at the Gerotek vehicle testing facility west of Pretoria and the construction of a hotel and conference centre adjacent to the historic Erasmus Castle on the eastern side of the Armscor campus.

Armscor will benchmark its golden jubilee on the theme of “50 years towards a sustainable future”.
“It is centred on four turnaround strategic goals – revenue generation, cost management, efficient and effective delivery and stakeholder engagement. With these goals in mind Armscor will ensure it delivers a sustainable future for the organisation to take it safely into the next 50 years,” according to the newsletter.