SANDF does the Rand Show proud


The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) was – again – a major crowed puller at the just ended Rand Show 2023 and used the event to ensure show goers knew it is the defence force for the people.

The four services – air force, army, military health and navy – along with the majority of divisions put their collective best foot forward. This entailed high visibility from more than a thousand SANDF personnel covering musterings from infantry through to gunner and others for the landward force as well as pilots and ground crew from the SA Air Force (SAAF), various medical disciplines in the maroon berets of the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) and the SA Navy (SAN) with harbour patrol boats and divers among others.

“The SANDF again formed part of this great spectacle, continuing where it left off as a dependable crowd-puller. The force under command of Chief, General Rudzani Maphwanya, continued to effectively communicate its overarching message that is indeed the ‘Defence Force for the People’,” reported 16 Maintenance Unit corporate communication officer Lieutenant Selogile Leshage.

“These organs came under the Rand Show’s roof, where men and women in uniform introduced the public to the military environment by displaying their vehicles, equipment and showcasing capabilities in exhibition stalls and the arena. The SANDF exhibition stalls not only provided visual appeal to the public, also serving to further the organisation’s aim to establish good working relations with the public it serves in an omnipresent fashion. This unity of civil and military was most evident, judging from the thunderous applause and positive feedback from the public which witnessed capabilities and engaged with military experts and communicators.

“The SANDF exhibition stalls also served as platforms for career recruitment drives to scholars who had the opportunity to learn about boundless careers in the armed forces, including crucial behind-the-scenes careers in the fields of dietetics, dentistry, legal services, firefighting and other professions.”

The evening before the show’s final day, Maphwanya marked the event addressing more than a thousand soldiers deployed for the Rand Show. With him to thank all involved for a job well done was Chief of Corporate Staff, Lieutenant General Michael Ramantswana; Chief Director Military Strategy and Plan, Major General Tembelani Xundu; and Chaplain General, Brigadier General Thabo Masweu.

Maphwanya thanked planners, exhibitors, communicators, bands from all services and support staff for performing to the best of their ability to ensure the show was a success. He confirmed 80 000 people visited exhibition stalls.

He is reported as saying the Rand Show is one of the SANDF’s most important communication forums. “We are the hope when our people have lost hope,” he said.