Fact file: Defence Logistic Division


The DOD Logistic Division “is to provide an integrated, joint logistics support system to the DOD and customers as determined by the Secretary for Defence and the Chief of the SANDF

Pic: The SANDF Mobilsation Centre at De Brug near Bloemfontein 



“To provide logistic services to the DOD.”1





The DOD Logistic Division “is to provide an integrated, joint logistics support system to the DOD and customers as determined by the Secretary for Defence and the Chief of the SANDF. The following will provide for this:

  • The DOD Logistic Division will supply strategic logistic direction and guidance by means of logistic strategy, policy, doctrine, strategic resources allocation and output objectives.

  • The DOD Logistic Support Formation and force structure elements will execute the strategy by complying with the policies, doctrine, resources allocation and output objectives.” 2


“The policies and plans as promulgated by the DOD Log Division include the guidance of unique logistics as conducted by the Services and Divisions. Joint Logistics will be conducted as follows:

  • Deeper level logistic capabilities by means of depots and other force structure elements under command (4th Line) (deeper/depot level).

  • Joint second line (2nd) (intermediate level) logistic support in-sourced from the Services and/or Divisions to support operations as required by CJ Ops.

  • Third line (3rd) (deployable D – Level) logistic support by means of reserve forces and in doing this enhancing the ‘One-Force’ concept.

  • Logistic support (Internal) through the deployment of Joint Support bases.”


“During peacetime and in war situations the logistical depots are employed to ensure the capability and capacity to support the STFEP.”3


Strategic Objectives


“Over the next decade the [Defence Logistic Division, DLD]4 will focus on acquiring the optimal level of competency, technology, and organisational structure as allowed for by the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)5.


Over the medium term, the strategic focus of the [DLD] will be to create an affordable single logistic structure within the DoD based on the transformational principles and design (provide logistics process). It will also strive to enforce the transformation imperatives of ensuring that all logistic functions from the 2nd line (intermediate) to the 4th line (deeper/depot level) form part of the strategy of the [division] so as to ensure a single point of entry, accountability and responsibility for Logistics in the DoD, thereby ensuring effective, efficient, economical and transparent resources management in the DoD.


The short-term focus of the [DLD] will be to support defence capabilities to meet operational and other commitments ordered by government and continue with the restructuring of the [DLD] based on the transformational design and principles to meet these challenges.” The responsibility of the DLD includes both preparing and supporting combat forces.



What is the DLD’s structure?


The structure of the Defence Logistic (sic) Division (DLD) is decidedly vertical. The Division has a number of directorates and a single supporting formation, the DoD Logistic Support Formation (LSF). This also has a number of integral directorates and 14 subordinate units. These include two schools, three General Support Bases, a number of depots, a mobilisation and air supply unit as well as a number of ancillary units. Not all fit comfortably under the same umbrella. A further peculiarity is that both the DLD and the LSF are headed by major generals.


The Defence Logistic Division includes the following directorates:

  • Sustainment Support Services

  • Logistic Management

  • Logistic Resource Management

  • Facility Support

  • Engineering Support



What does the DLD do?


The DLD has four functions. It –

  • Makes, enforces and audits policy, doctrine and procedures;

  • Provides training;

  • Controls general commodities not specific to any one Service or Division; and

  • Acts as the SANDF’s “storeman”.



What is the DoD Logistic Support Formation’s internal structure?


The DoD Logistic Support Formation comprises the following directorates:

  • Sustainment Support Services Management

  • Facility Support Management

  • Product System Support

These are superintended over by a Chief of Staff.


The DoD Logistic Support Formation has the following units under command:


Headquarters Support

  • Formation Services Unit



  • DoD Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) (ex 81 Technical Stores Depot) (TEK Base, Centurion)

  • DoD MOD Sub Depot, Wallmansthal (ex 4 Vehicle Reserve Park) (Wallmansthal)

  • DoD MOD Sub Depot, Durban (ex 83 Technical Stores Depot) (Durban)


Ammunition Depots

  • DoD Ammunition Sub Depot De Aar (ex 97 Ammunition Depot)6 (De Aar)

  • DoD Ammunition Sub Depot Naboomspruit (ex 91 Ammunition Depot) (Naboomspruit)

  • 93 Ammunition Depot7 (Jankempdorp)


General Support Bases

  • GSB Ministry of Defence (Erasmuskloof, Pretoria)

  • GSB Garrison (TEK Base, Centurion)

  • GSB Wonderboom (Wonderboom, Pretoria)



  • SA Forces Institution


Service Units

  • DoD Technical Support Unit (Ex SANDF Gauteng Command, ex SA Army Northern Transvaal Command Workshop) (TEK Base, Centurion)

  • DoD Mobilisation Unit (De Brug, Bloemfontein)



  • School for Logistic Training (ex Ordnance Service Corps School) (Youngsfield, Cape Town)

  • School of Catering (Pretoria)



What does the LSF do?


It is the executive agent of the DLD. It is responsible for policy execution and for running the SANDF’s depots. The LSF do not own the stock in its stores. It only stores, accounts for and preserves such stock. It further carries out the instructions of the Product System Managers (who fall under the Director Programme Systems Support). The LSF mostly acts as a depot for these PSM. It also receives equipment on behalf of the SANDF from industry and in that way provides 3rd and 4th line facilities to the DLD and SANDF

1 From the DoD Public Access to Information Act Manual.

2 DoD, Strategic Business Plan 2005/6 to 2007/8, p27.

3 DoD, Strategic Business Plan 2005/6 to 2007/8, p27.

4 The original text says “Logistic Agency”

5 DoD, Strategic Business Plan 2005/6 to 2007/8, p27.

6 The depot is approximately 7km from town, is the size of 29 rugby fields and has a 49km rail network. Ammunition is stored in 186 magazines. The depot is secured by a high voltage fence, detection alarms, X-ray machines, metal detectors, a monitor room and surveillance cameras. In October 2004 there was 23 000 metric tons of obsolete and unserviceable ammunition at De Aar. The guaranteed shelf life for shells and pyrotechnics are 10 years and for small arms ammunition 20 years. Ninety percent of the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) ammunition is older than 20 years. (Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence on a study tour to De Aar (97 Ammunition Depot) and Bloemfontein (Air Force Base Bloemspruit, Tempe Military Base and the Army Support Base) on October 5 and 6, 2004, presented in Parliament on August 2, 2005.)

7 This depot is slated for closure, indefinitely delayed, and has thus not been renamed.