Time bomb

Time bomb

“The guaranteed shelf life for shells and pyrotechnics is 10 years and for small arms ammunition 20 years but 90% of the SANDF ammunition is however older than 20 years.” – 2004 report of the portfolio committee of defence about the 23,000 tonnes of ammunition stored at 97 Ammunition Depot outside De Aar.

Nothing much has changed at 97 Ammunition Depot since 2004. The ammunition is past its sell-by date and could blow up at any time.

Like to see more ?

Subscribe to our on-line edition !

For a mere R305.00 per year you get the convenience of our online version including:
  • Twelve monthly issues of Noseweek delivered to your browser
  • A searchable archive
  • Access to every back issue since 1993 !
  • A downloadable PDF version

If it’s just the article you are after, you can purchase it by clicking here.

Tempted ?

For a taste of what awaits you, you are welcome to browse this free issue.

Share this article:

Reader's comments

Like to add your own comment ? Please click here to subscribe - OR -
Submitted by : Greg King on 2021-04-27 11:01:44
This article brought to mind an explosion that I experienced in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in 2011. I had arrived in the afternoon for a business trip; had booked into my hotel, when this cacophony of mighty explosions occurred. OMG, I thought, the end of the world had started. The explosion killed approximately 20 civilians, injured 300 and displaced some 4000 inhabitants as it destroyed homes and a school close by. De Aar, stand by.
Here is an article from that time: "The problem of inadequately managed weapons and ammunition stockpiles in Africa an issue of concern. Lauren Tracey examines the inadequate management of weapons and ammunition stockpiles in Tanzania and the need for more effective systems and procedures to be put in place."
Are there no 'lessons learnt'?


While every reasonable effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and soundness of the contents of this publication, neither the authors nor the publishers of this website bear any responsibility for the consequences of any actions based on the information contained therein.

Important information regarding cookies
By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.