Potchefstroom, North West’s unofficial military capital, is home to the sixth SA Army bakery, which will supply bread to soldiers and military personnel in the area of responsibility assigned to the Army Support Base (ASB).
The bakery was made “operational” with a symbolic ribbon cutting by Army Support Base commander Colonel KEJ Absalom and Major General Mzikayise Tyhalisi, Army Support Formation GOC. The motto “Bake my Day” was proudly displayed above the door of the bakery, according to Captain Desiree Boipelo Kolokoto, Acting Staff Officer 2 Corporate Communication, SA Army Support Formation.
The North West bakery joins other Support Formation bakeries in Gauteng and Western Cape as part of an initiative to make the landward force more self-sufficient in terms of ration supplies. In addition to supplying bread to military bases and units, the bakeries also look to other “customers” in the form of police and local residents.
Private sector financial advisors and insurance companies Sanlam and Liberty pledged to support ASB Potchefstroom assisting communities to develop businesses to create jobs. This includes a mobile fresh market, a Project Koba-Tlala initiative.
Also on the nutrition list to ensure good, healthy food for soldiers in clean surroundings, is a new dining hall and tea room at Infantry School, Oudtshoorn, as well as a commercialised mess for the Air Defence Artillery School in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. Commercialisation of mess facilities is, according to Gunner MK Mothupi, part of improving ration procurement and “rendering services” to particularly the school’s live-in personnel.
This reportedly opens the door to decentralise purchasing and control of rations “saving the State up to 20%”.