The City of Cape Town has reaffirmed the South African Navy’s (SAN) right of entry into Simon’s Town.
Speaking at the Right of Entry Parade at the annual Navy Festival held in Simon’s Town this past weekend, Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, remarked that in providing an entry point for the South African Navy, the City considered itself fortunate to play it’s part in the defence network of South Africa.
Noting in her address that the matter of civil and military relationship is an important one, she said that there must always be a distinction between ordinary civilians and members of the armed forces.
“The naval presence in Simon’s town exists within a peaceful seaside community that is part of the greater Cape Town,” she said.
Continuing, she remarked that “there is a special responsibility upon us and the Navy to ensure that we respect the integrity of our military institutions while also respecting the rights and dignity of ordinary citizens. I believe we have got the balance right and that the relationship between Cape Town and the Navy is a historic one, one that continues to play an important role in the heritage of the City. In short, it is a relationship we can all be proud of.”
“In conclusion,” de Lille declared, “let me reaffirm our commitment to the Navy’s right of entry into Cape Town.”
In his replying address, Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu, Chief of the Navy, thanked the Executive Mayor.
“It is a sense of privilege and awareness that our Parade today constitutes an age old tradition with a deep historical significance,” he said.
“Our presence here in Simon’s Town this morning traditionally confirms upon us the right to march in full military ceremony in recognition of such trust, confidence and friendship existing between ourselves and the beloved community of Simon’s Town.”
Mudimu reflected on the close ties the Navy has had with the community of Simon’s Town since inception of the SAN in Simon’s Town on 1 April 1922.
“This week,” he said, “is particularly significant for our navy, representing as it does, not only the nine decades of friendship, but also allowing us to showcase capabilities to the people of our country.”
The SAN hosted the annual Navy Festival between 14 and 16 March 2014, during which over 80 000 members of the public and tourists had the opportunity to explore the SAN’s vessels, equipment and facilities in Naval Base Simon’s Town and the Armscor Dockyard.
The Navy Festival features exhibitions by the SANDF and includes displays such as precision drill, fire fighting, dog show and gun runs. Other events include the Navy band and choir, the SAAF’s Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team, Special Forces display and an anti-piracy display by the Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS).
The night firing exercise on Saturday night from the lower North Battery on the False Bay coast allowed the general public to view the Navy firing various calibres of weapons in spectacular fashion.