Twenty-five years of democracy and a national defence force representative of all South Africans will this year be marked by the SA Navy.
Tshintsha, a Xhosa word meaning “change”, was chosen by Flag Officer Fleet Rear Admiral Bravo Mhlana, to drive the project which kicked off earlier this month with the first Admiralty House garden concert in eight years.
Other events on the Tshintsha menu include a fleet pulling regatta. This will take place in Simon’s Town on 17 July and marks the resurrection of an old and honoured naval tradition. The last SA Navy pulling regatta was staged 14 years ago.
A fleet review is planned for early September but details have not yet been made available.
The two major events planned for Tshintsha are the unveiling of a memorial plaque and the official naming and opening of the new Naval Base Simon’s Town Headquarters in the east dockyard. The memorial plaque will commemorate SA Navy personnel who died in service over the 25 years the People’s Navy has been in existence. The plaque will be unveiled on 4 September and the new headquarters naming ceremony takes place the following day with indications that fleet review will be on Saturday 5 September.
No dates have yet been announced for the garden concerts still to be held at Admiralty House where the SA Navy band under the baton of Lieutenant Commander Lindela Madikizela is the only – and starring – act.
At the time of publication there was no indication whether the other SA National Defence Force (SANDF) services – air force, army and military health – will be staging any 25 years of democracy commemorative events.