South African Army Artillery Formation


The South African Army Artillery Formation is the controlling entity of all South African Army artillery units. It draws much of its history from the South African Artillery, established in 1934 but with roots that reach back to 1921. The formation consists of both regular and reserve units. There is a separate South African Army Air Defence Artillery Formation that directs army anti-aircraft warfare units.

South African Army Artillery Formation
SANDF Artillery Formation emblem ver 2.png
SANDF Artillery Formation emblem
Active1999 to date
Country South Africa
Allegiance South African Army
Branch South African Army
SizeBrigade size
Part ofSouth African Army
Garrison/HQSebokeng Military Complex, Pretoria
Nickname(s)The Gunners
PatronSt Barbara
Motto(s)First in, last out
ColorsGuardsmen Red and Oxford Blue[1]
Anniversaries1 April
General Officer Commanding (GOC)Brig Gen Jongile Maso
General of the GunnersLt Gen Jabu Mbuli
Chief of Staff (CoS)Col JK Moraka
Collar BadgeBursting grenade with seven flames
Beret ColourOxford Blue
Artillery Battery EmblemsSANDF Artillery Battery emblems
Artillery Beret Bar circa 1992SANDF Artillery Beret Bar



The South African Permanent Force, created in 1913 as the Permanent Force and re-designated with effect from 23 February 1923, included the South African Field Artillery (SAFA), and the South African Permanent Garrison Artillery (SAPGA). The SAPGA had begun operations some time before, when the coastal defences of the Cape Peninsula (manned by the Cape Garrison Artillery) had been handed over to South Africa in December 1921.

SANDF G5 artillery Lohatla

In Proclamation No. 246 of 1934, the Governor General of the Union of South Africa merged the two organisations with effect from 1 September 1934 and created one Corps titled the South African Artillery (SAA) (see South African Army corps and branches).

World War 2Edit

Nine field regiments, two medium regiments, and three anti-tank regiments served in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War.[2]

1st Medium Regiment SAA (SAHA) was formed briefly from 1 October 1939 - July 1941, when it was broken up in Egypt to provide replacements for the field regiments of the SAA. It was reformed with headquarters at Cape Town from 1 January 1946. It was transferred from Cape Town and out of Cape Command to Oudtshoorn from 31 December 1953, but was then disbanded after a Citizen Force reorganisation on 1 March 1960.[3]

Post World War 2Edit

From 1 July 1951 8 Field Regiment SAA was active, but was redesignated the Johannesburg Regiment in 1960.

Bush War periodEdit

10 Artillery Brigade South Africa, was active with 4 and 14 Regiments since 1983, and 14 Artillery Regiment disbanded on January 1, 1993.

National Defence Force ReorganisationEdit

The army's reorganisation after the creation of the new South African National Defence Force was lengthy. The SA Army Office was established. The Corps were restructured with Regular and Reserve Regiments under command. The so-called “Type Formations” were established which assumed responsibility for the provisioning of combat-ready forces to be employed under the direction of Joint Operations Division.

G6 Rhino Howitzers at the Klipdrift military base

Air Defence Artillery becomes a separate formationEdit

  • In 1997 the 7th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, active since the 1960s, was disestablished.
  • Regiment Overvaal (ROV) which was established on 1 April 1969 as an Anti-Aircraft Regiment based on Vereeniging Military Base in Vereeniging. P Battery of Regiment Vaalrivier was transferred on 1 October 1969 to form 8th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (8LLA). The name changed from 8LLA to ROV on 27 April 1993. The regiment was disestablished in 1997.[4]

The Artillery FormationEdit

The South African Artillery re-organised itself into the South African Army Artillery Formation, directed by the SA Army Artillery Formation Headquarters.[1][5] The South African Army Artillery Formation HQ was established in April 1999.[6]

SAMIL 100 carrying a Vulture UAV.

Regional Co-operationEdit

In the annual report for the 2013-14 fiscal year, the SANDF reported the development of artillery cooperation and the establishment of the Namibian Army School of Artillery.[7] The SA Army assisted the Namibian Defence Force with the development of courses and ultimately the establishment of the Namibian School of Artillery.

Regular unitsEdit

Reserve unitsEdit

Maj Gen Roy Andersen with the GOC, Brig Gen Deon Holtzhausen, and Sgt Maj of the Formation accompanied by the NFA OC, Major Craig Nel, just after the NFA gunners fired the salute at the Gunner's Memorial Service in Durban 2014


The Formation uses the following equipment, among others:

To be acquired:

Conventional ArtilleryEdit


Variant Description Comment Image
G1 Gun Quick Firing 25 pounder, high explosive, anti tank and smoke shells   United Kingdom design  
G2 Gun Breach Loading 5.5 inch medium gun, high explosive   United Kingdom design  
G4 Gun Breach Loading 155mm, high explosive   Israel design, stopgap until the G5 cannon entered service  
G5 Gun/Howitzer 155mm, high explosive, Samil 100 Gun tractor   South Africa design  
G6 Gun/Howitzer 155mm, high explosive, Self driven   South Africa design  
Vulture UAV Vulture Forward Observation   South Africa design. Used for target acquisition, fall-of-shot detection and fire correction in support of Towed and Self Propelled Gun Howitzer Systems.[8]  

Multiple Rocket Launcher SystemsEdit

Variant Description Comment Image
Valkiri MLRS 127mm rocket MLRS   South Africa design Unimog chassis, pre fragmented warhead, 24 launch tubes  
Bateleur MLRS 127mm rocket MLRS   South Africa design Kwevoel chassis, pre fragmented warhead, 40 launch tubes  


  1. ^ a b Engelbrecht, Leon (9 February 2010). "Fact file: The SA Artillery". DefenceWeb. ITWEB. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  2. ^ Nigel F Evans (2014-06-14). "South African Artillery Regiments". Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  3. ^[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "War In Angola: - HOME".
  5. ^ "Artillery School : SA Army Artillery Formation Officers' Dinner". Gunner's Association South Africa. Gunner's Association. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2015-03-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ SA Army overstretched - DoD, Guy Martin, 6 Nov 2014 <>
  8. ^ "The Vulture UAV". Paramount Group. 2012. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
  • Further reading: Wilsworth, Clive (2010). First In, Last Out: The South African Artillery in Action: 1975-1988. 30 Degrees South. ISBN 978-1-920143-40-4.

External linksEdit

  • Defenceweb fact file
  • Gunner's Association