Thaba Tshwane municipal management is Works Formation responsibility


The Works Formation of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has an additional tasking – that of managing municipal services in Thaba Tshwane, the suburb south-west of Pretoria once widely acknowledged as South Africa’s military capital.

Previously known as Voortrekkerhoogte and before that as Roberts Heights, Thaba Tshwane is bounded on the north by 1 Military Hospital and by the old Air Force Gymnasium on the south. Barracks and messes as well as what was once termed “married quarters” housing families as well as unit, regiment and group headquarters and military higher education facilities still give the area an unmistakeable military feel.

Management, in the municipal sense of the word, is done by a town management board which liaises with Tshwane metro on issues such as power, water and refuse removal. This was previously assigned to the SANDF Logistics Division with last week’s Works Formation annual planning session seemingly moving this function from Chief: Logistics Lieutenant General Jabulani Mbuli’s sphere of responsibility.

A Logistics Division report has it the addition of municipal services to the Works Formation’s to-do list is “a mammoth one to be overcome with proper guidance”.

Cudgels were taken up on behalf of inconvenienced Thaba Tshwane residents last year by Democratic Alliance (DA) metro councillor Ina Strydom. Power was seemingly cut-off for days at a time and blocked pipes saw sewage spill into streets. Strydom went as far as approaching the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) as government’s landlord for assistance when there was no timely response from either the military or the metro. Defence and military veterans minister at the time, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, told a Parliamentary questioner Thaba Tshwane was a priority for her department as it was one area where DPWI failed to live up to its mandate.

At last week’s planning session, Works Formation Chief, Major General Joseph Ledwaba outlined what is termed “the line of march” for all nine provincial works units, I Military Town Management and the Works Training School. The formation aims at providing efficient, effective and economical operational level facility management in support of strategic objectives set by the Department of Defence (DoD).