A number of regiments and units in the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Reserve Force are in line for name changes.
This, according to SA Army Chief Lieutenant General Vusi Masondo, is in line with the continuing transformation of the landward force.
“There is nothing sinister in it. It is a voluntary process supported by the reserve environment,” he said.
“The aim is to acquire a level of synergy among all role players with units and regiment names reflecting cohesiveness and regimental pride among all reserves.
“The process allows for acknowledgement of military heroes of the past, makes provision for South African military history currently not reflected in this environment and also accommodates regimental uniqueness.”
Among units probably up for name changes are Transvaal Scottish (with a source indicating the “Transvaal” could be dropped and the regiment becoming known only as “The Scottish”), the SA Irish Regiment, Regiment De La Rey, Regiment Christiaan Beyers, Transvaal Staats Artillerie, Transvaal Horse Artillery, Regiment Oranjerivier, Regiment Westelike Provinsie, Regiment Potchefstroomse Universiteit, Natal Mounted Rifles, Natal Carbineers and Natal Mounted Rifles.
Other units, including 4 Maintenance Unit, 11 Field Postal Unit, 19 Field Engineer Regiment, 71 Signal Unit and Johannesburg Regiment, could remain as is because the names do not have apartheid or colonial connotations.
Among names which have been suggested, according to the Afrikaans daily Beeld, are Limpopo and Mpumalanga regiments rather than peoples’ names. One of the guidelines is for suggestions to avoid peoples’ names in the best interests of nation-building and growing a strong regimental tradition and pride among Reserve Force members.