More progress on Koba-Tlala


Over a thousand reserve force members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) are set to be re-skilled next year as part of Project Koba-Tlala, SANDF’s contribution to government’s National Development Plan.

Brigadier General Gerhard Kamffer, Chief SA Army Reserves, said Koba-Tlala was initiated a couple of years ago when SANDF chief General Solly Shoke said the SANDF must support the people.

Kamffer said reserves have a key role to play in Koba-Tlala. Of the 11 000 reserves that are called up for an average of 138 days a year, some 9 000 are estimated to be unemployed. He said the SANDF wants these part time soldiers to be utilised by other government departments.

According to Kamffer, 450 reserve force members have been reskilled and next year 1 000 will be reskilled with funding from the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) – R5 million in funding is being sought from them to do this.

Project Koba-Tlala (fighting hunger) allows the SANDF the ability to contribute to the government’s nine point development plan that addresses poverty, inequality, unemployment etc., according to SA Army Chief Lieutenant General Lindile Yam, who briefed the media on Koba-Tlala yesterday.
“Communication, interventions and meetings were conducted between the SANDF and various government departments, groups and universities. The SA Army initiatives included guidance and assistance with reskilling of Reserve Force members that focussed on security training, agricultural related training in animal and plant production and community development and liaison training,” Yam said.

Under Koba-Tlala, SANDF units will put aside a certain amount of procurement for the development of local entrepreneurs, especially farmers. “In due course units will be able to source most of their food requirements from the local suppliers,” Yam said.
“Meetings with small-scale farmers to introduce decentralised procurement for the development of new suppliers took place to explain the procedures to be followed to become part of the value chain in the SANDF. A pilot phase of the decentralised procurement initiative was successfully initiated in the Northern Cape in partnership with Petra Diamonds and the Petra Foundation.
“Four cooperatives have been formed in the North West because of the facilitation and intervention of Project Koba-Tlala in conjunction with the Department of Rural Environmental and Agricultural Development of the North West Government,” Yam said.

These cooperatives are the Bagaka Enterprises Secondary Cooperative Limited; the Marang Tlhabo Ya Letsatsi Cooperative Limited (contracted to supply processed meat and fish to the SANDF messes in the North West) and Tseotsho Multipurpose Primary Cooperative Limited (registered to supply red meat to SANDF messes).