SANDF to be at Rand Show but no capability demo scheduled

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will once again be taking part in the Rand Show at the Nasrec show grounds, but the military’s presence will only cover static exhibits and an arena programme, with no high-adrenaline capability demonstration scheduled.

The Rand Show (previously known as the Rand Easter Show) will take place from 6 to 10 April. The SANDF has been a long-time supporter and exhibitor of the show, even being the main partner in some years, with the defence minister officially opening the week-long event.

At its height, the SANDF put on capability demonstrations involving Oryx, Rooivalk and A109 helicopters as well as Gripen combat jets, amongst others. However, most likely due to budget cuts and many other commitments, the military’s presence will be scaled back.

Its popular arena programme will continue, however, and this typically comprises things like precision drills, motorcycle stunts and more.

An extensive static exhibition is planned, covering all four services of the SANDF (SA Army, SA Navy, SA Air Force, and SA Military Health Service), the SANDF told defenceWeb in response to a query. One element that has already arrived at the Nasrec show grounds is an Alouette III helicopter, provided by the South African Air Force Museum.

The SANDF today confirmed the presence of the Special Forces, SAMHS, Navy, SAAF, Military Police, and numerous divisions of the SA Army, including Logistics Division, Training Formation, Support Formation, Infantry Formation, Intelligence Formation, Air Defence Artillery, Armour Formation, and Engineer Formation. They will be displaying everything from small arms, to armoured and unarmoured vehicles (including Olifant tanks), medical equipment, boats, radars, anti-aircraft guns, water purification equipment etc.

Some of the other public attractions at this year’s Rand Show will include helicopter flips, theme park rides, drifting, go-karting, an animal farm, balloon giveaways and an inflatables village. A new addition to this year’s event is a Dog Showcase – backed by The South African Dog Agility Association (SADAA).

There will also be a dedicated Kids Zone, play village, and free music concerts including the likes of Dr Victor, Mango Groove, Uncle Waffles, Kelly Khumalo and MXO.

Other highlights include a classic car show, wrestling, cooking display, motorbike display and toy run.