Special Forces Headquarters was established in 1974, at the Zanza Building in Pretoria.
The General Officer Commanding Special Forces co-ordinates and commands the activities of the Special Forces Regiments from Special Forces Headquarters and the Senior Staff Officers of Special Forces – together with the centralised personnel and administrative Support Personnel, work from the Headquarters.
In 1980, Special Forces Headquarters was moved to Swartkop Park nature reserve outside Pretoria, which has subsequently unofficially been called “Speskop” within the Special Forces community.
During the period of rationalisation, reorganisation and integration, from 1991 to 1995, Special Forces ceased to be an independent formation, and became the Directorate of Reconnaissance in the South African Army. Shortly after that, the Reconnaissance Regiments were renamed Parachute Battalions of 45 Parachute Brigade. The General Officer Commanding Special Forces reverted to reporting to the Chief of the Army, and Special Forces Headquarters was moved from Swartkop Park, (“Speskop”), to Defence Headquarters.
In 1995, the Reconnaissance Regiments were finally renamed as Special Forces Regiments. Not long thereafter, Special Forces Headquarters was moved back to Swartkop Park, (”Speskop”), Special Forces reverted to an independent formation, and the General Officer Commanding Special Forces reverted to reporting to the Chief of the Defence Force.