Eastern Province Command

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Eastern Province Command
Eastern Province Command.svg
Active1959-c. 2000
Country South Africa
HeadquartersPort Elizabeth

Eastern Province Command was a command of the South African Army.



Under the Union Defence Force[edit]

In 1939, South Africa was originally divided under the Union Defence Force into 9 military districts.[1] At the time, the command was headquartered at East London and comprised 2nd Infantry Brigade and 5 and 6 Batteries of the Permanent Garrison Artillery.[2]

Districts to Commands[edit]

Under the SADF, Northern Transvaal Command was originally split into an eastern and western sector while Northern Cape had to be created from scratch. The Southern Cape Command was merged with Western Cape. The Officers commanding the new Commands were usually Brigadiers all units in those areas fell under them as far as training, housing, administration, discipline and counter insurgency was concerned.


In 1980, Eastern Province Command and 6 SAI engaged in Operation Rain, which was support to the Transkei during a regional drought that lasted until 1981.[3]

SADF era Eastern Province Command insignia

In the early 1980s the command's units were reported to include 6 South African Infantry Battalion (Grahamstown), 84 Technical Stores Depot (Grahamstown); 11 Commando (Kimberley); East Cape Province Commando (Kimberley); Port Elizabeth Commando (Kimberley); and the Danie Theron Combat School (Kimberley).

Under the SANDF[edit]

Before the reintegration of the Transkei Defence Force, a number of senior Transkei officers had undergone staff courses in India. These included the head of the Transkei Defence Force, Brigadier T.T. Matanzima, who later on became head of the Eastern Province Command.[4]

The command was redesignated as Army Support Base Eastern Cape (ASB EC), currently commanded by Colonel N.A. Ndou.[5] The Support Base was established in April 2000, after the closing down of the Eastern Province Command.[5]

Groups and Commando Units[edit]

SADF era Eastern Province Command Commando structure

Group 6 (Port Elizabeth) [6][edit]

Group 7 (Grahamstown)[edit]

Group 8 (East London)[edit]

Group 32 (Graaff-Reinet)[edit]

Group 39 (Queenstown)[edit]


Eastern Province Command
From Commanding Officers To
1968 Brigadier Jack Dutton[7] 1973
1 January 1983 Brigadier Joffel van der Westhuizen[7][8] January 1987
January 1987 Brigadier Wessel Kritzinger[7] March 1990
1996 Maj Gen Themba Matanzima[9] 21 May 2019

See also[edit]

South African Army Order of Battle 1940


  1. ^ Ryan, David A. "Union Defence Forces 6 September 1939". World War II Armed Forces — Orders of Battle and Organizations. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  2. ^ "South African Army 1939 - 1940" (pdf). Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  3. ^ Volker, Walter (2010). Signal Units of the South African Corps of Signals and Related Signal Services. Pretoria: Veritas Books. p. 372. ISBN 978-0-620-45345-5. cited in Turton, Anthony. A South African Diary: Contested Identity, My Family - Our Story Part G: 1987 - 2011.
  4. ^ Wood, Geoffrey(2000) 'South Africa's unfinished business: Organisational change and continuity within the South African national defence force', Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 38: 2, 92.
  5. ^ a b Netshirembe, Lufuno (11 April 2012). "Army Support Base Eastern Cape held a medal Parade". dod.mil.za. RSA Department of Defence. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b Engelbrecht, Leon (26 April 2010). "New medal for ex-Commandos". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Volume 2, Chapter 5, Sub-Section 22, Paragraph 161b". TRC Final Report. SABC. p. 440. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  8. ^ "AC/2000/037". justice.gov.za.
  9. ^ Engelbrecht, Leon (25 January 2010). "Fact file: Lt Gen Themba Matanzima". defenceweb.co.za. DefenceWeb. Retrieved 20 December 2014.