In the latest example of “There can be no memory of how things were, we have to erase the past,” the names of 52 historic South African Army units, many with a history of fighting in both World Wars, will be jettisoned in favor of new ones to reflect “the military traditions and history of indigenous African military formations and the liberation armies involved in the freedom struggle.”
Gone will be such iconic units as the Cape Town Highlanders, Transvaal Scottish, Witwatersrand Rifles, Prince Alfred’s Guard, SA Irish Regiment, Natal Carbineers, Transvaal Horse Artillery and others.
Instead of simply modifying the name and amalgamating the old title with the new one to preserve the lineage and merge the country’s two past histories, the government will simply Etch-A-Sketch the order of battle and start over. Existing unit colors, along with their often numerous battle honors, will be retired.
The break down of the conversions as follows:
Natal Carbineers to Ingobamakhosi Carbineers (IC);
Cape Town Rifles to Chief Langalibalele Rifles (CLR);
First City to Chief Makhanda Regiment (CMR)
Prince Alfred’s Guard to Chief Maqoma Regiment (MR);
Cape Town Highlanders to Gonnema Regiment (GR);
Transvaal Scottish to Solomon Mahlangu Regiment (SMR);
Witwatersrand Rifles to Bambatha Rifles (BR);
Regiment Botha to General Botha Regiment (GBR);
Regiment de la Rey to General de la Rey Regiment (GDLR);
Regiment de Wet to Chief Albert Luthuli Regiment (CALR);
Regiment Westelike Provinsie to General Jan Smuts Regiment (GJSR);
South African Irish Regiment to Andrew Mlangeni Regiment (AMR);
Regiment Christiaan Beyers to Mapungubwe Regiment (MAPR);
Regiment Piet Retief to Nelson Mandela Regiment (NMR);
Regiment President Kruger to Lenong Regiment (LR);
Regiment Oos Rand to OR Tambo Regiment (ORTR);
Durban Regiment to King Shaka Regiment (KSR);
Regiment Bloemspruit to Mangaung Regiment (MAUR);
Regiment Noord-Transvaal to Job Masego Regiment (JMR)
2 Parachute Battalion to Bagaka Regiment (BAGR).
The six Artillery Formation units in line for new names are
Cape Field Artillery to Nelson Mandela Artillery Regiment (NMAR);
Natal Field Artillery to King Cetshwayo Artillery Regiment (KCAR);
Transvaal Horse Artillery to Sandfontein Artillery Regiment (SAR);
Vrystaat Artillerie Regiment to General Dan Pienaar Artillery Regiment (GDPR);
Transvaal Staatsartillerie to State Artillery Regiment (SAR) and
18 Light Regiment to Steve Biko Artillery Regiment (SBAR).
In the Air Defence Artillery Formation, five units will have new names. They are
Cape Garrison Artillery to Autshumato Anti-Aircraft Regiment (AAAR);
Regiment Vaal Rivier to Galeshewe Anti-Aircraft Regiment (GAAR);
Regiment Oos Transvaal to iWombe Anti-Aircraft Regiment (IAAR);
6 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment to Sekhukhune Anti-Aircraft Regiment (SAAR) and
44 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment to Madzhakandila Anti-Aircraft Regiment (MAAR).
The six SA Army Armour Formation units to receive new names are:
Natal Mounted Rifles to Queen Nandi Mounted Rifles (QNMR);
Light Horse Regiment to Johannesburg Light Horse Regiment (JLHR);
Pretoria Regiment to Pretoria Armour Regiment (PAR);
Regiment President Steyn to Thaba Bosiu Armour Regiment (TBAR);
Regiment Oranjerivier to Blaauwberg Armour Regiment (BAR) and
Regiment Mooirivier to Molapo Armour Regiment (MAR).
The SA Army Engineer Formation will see its Reserve Force component with three new names.
They are 3 Field Engineer Regiment to Ihawu Field Engineer Regiment (IFER);
9 Field Engineer Regiment to Umkhonto Field Engineer Regiment (UFER) and
44 Parachute Engineer Regiment to Ukhosi Parachute Engineer Regiment (UPER).
Similarly, three Signal Formation units change.
They are 71 Signal Unit to Western Cape Signal Unit (WCRSU);
7 Signal Group to Gauteng Reserve Signal Unit (GRSU) and
84 Signal Unit to Kwa-Zulu Natal Signal Unit (KWSU).
Nine name changes are made in the SA Army Support Formation.
They are 30 Field Workshop to Doman Field Workshop (DFW);
31 Field Workshop to General Sipho Binda Field Workshop (GSBFW);
32 Field Workshop to Sabelo Phama Field Workshop (SPFW);
71 Field Workshop to Chris Hani Field Workshop (CHFW);
37 Field Workshop to Sekhukhune Field Workshop (SFW);
7 Field Workshop to Ngungunyane Field Workshop (NFW);
4 Maintenance Unit to Logistical Support Unit (LSU); 11 Maintenance Unit to General Andrew Masondo Maintenance Unit (GAMU) and
19 Transit Maintenance Unit to Madiba Bay Maintenance Unit (MBMU)