Reserves on standby for Op Notlela


South Africa’s senior part-time soldier asks Reserve Force soldiers not already in uniform for Operation Notlela to stand by, await instructions and if not forthcoming, ensure units know where they are.

Major General Roy Andersen, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief Reserves, said in a statement “large numbers” of Reserves in all four services (air force, army, military health and navy) are currently deployed on two major taskings.

These are the national state of disaster anti-coronavirus effort and Operation Corona for ongoing border protection.To boost numbers to the 73 000 plus mark asked for by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Commander-in-Chief of the SANDF, further call-up measures have been instituted.

These start with “certain Reserve Force units” – not named – now on 25 hour standby.

Reserve Force soldiers outside these and currently not in uniform should contact their units to confirm availability. They will be called when required, Andersen said in the statement.

There is another group which might not have received call-up instructions yet. These are those with specialist skills and they should contact provincial Reserve Force offices to “volunteer their services”.

This group includes healthcare practitioners such as nurses and doctors; those with “pilot or aviation experience” and qualified chefs, engineers (technical and mechanical), mechanics and seamstresses.

In an address to the nation on Thursday, Ramaphosa said, “I employed over 70 000 defence force personnel to assist with parts of our coronavirus response. Until now, those defence force members deployed supported the SA Police Service in their responsibilities.

“They will continue to do so, but will also provide assistance in other essential areas, such as water supply and provision, infrastructure maintenance and health services.”