Armscor efforts to generate revenue so it is not entirely dependent on government funding should see the State’s defence and security acquisition agency add “landlord” to its list of functions in the not too distant future.
Early last year Armscor chief executive Kevin Wakeford first used the term “asset sweating” in reference to making better use of assets, particularly property, and seeing them add to the Armscor revenue stream.
This has now moved to a point where a notice has been published for “commercial property development opportunities at Armscor”.
Two non-compulsory briefings sessions will be held next month for interested parties. The first is at the Armscor Lapa in Umfolozi Street, Erasmuskloof, Pretoria, on May 8 and the second a week later on May 15 at Gerotek, 334 Nkomo Street, Pretoria West.
The first session will be looking at ventures to change the current Armscor sportsgrounds, utilised more as a parade ground than for cricket or rugby nowadays, into a revenue-earning development. The same applies to another nearby vacant piece of land owned by Armscor.
The Gerotek briefing has more to do with construction as the latest Armscor annual report indicated a purpose-designed building would be built on the testing facility to house Defence intelligence (DI). DI is currently renting space in a downtown Pretoria building.
The other property earmarked by Armscor management for “sweating” is its Alkantpan test range in Northern Cape. In response to a defenceWeb enquiry, Armscor listed “Alkantpan Lodge” as one of four property assets it initially plans to sweat.
The lodge is used to house personnel using the range for testing of medium and large calibre weapons and ammunition. Related tests including insensitive munitions, hazard classification, ageing, surveillance trails and others are also undertaken in the dry semi-desert conditions.
No indication has yet been given of what type of development, other than the broad “lodge” description, is envisaged for the remote Alkantpan site.