The South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) Goodwill Parcel Project delegation has arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province which is home to South African troops serving in the United Nations mission in the DRC.
The Goodwill Parcel Project (GWPP) delegation is being hosted by Brigadier General Njabulo Dube, the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Commander, the SANDF said on 14 March.
The delegation includes the Chief of Staff at Joint Operations Headquarters, Brigadier General Philip Mavhungu, Director Defence Corporate Communication, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, Director Human Resources Service at the SA Air Force, Brigadier General Mongezi Kweta, Sergeant Major of the Defence Force, Master Chief Warrant Officer Mothusi Kgaladi, members of the Spouses Forum and representatives of the GWPP sponsors.
They are in the DRC to present goodwill parcels to deployed SANDF soldiers. The delegation had originally planned to deliver parcels in early December last year, but the elections in the DRC on 30 December and resulting security concerns delayed the process.
Dube extended his appreciation to the GWPP delegation for bringing cheer to the hardworking soldiers in the DRC. He added that his soldiers deeply appreciate the fact that their fellow countrymen and women value the good work they are doing in bringing peace to other parts of Africa, the SANDF said.
Dube noted that since the outbreak of Ebola has been reported in some areas of the DRC, the group would not travel to Beni as scheduled.
Earlier in the week the goodwill parcel delegation visited South African Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Lieutenant General (Ret) A.M. Shilubane. He highlighted the importance of the SANDF presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, adding that the country was a strategic partner to South Africa. He also stated that the presence of the SANDF in the DRC was an enabler for peace and very crucial for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
It has become a tradition for sponsors of the SANDF Goodwill Parcel Project to visit soldiers deployed on both external and internal duties to personally hand over parcels and interact with servicemen and women far from home.
Soldiers and other military personnel deployed on the South Africa border protection tasking Operation Corona received their goodwill parcels in the second week of December. This saw a convoy of vehicles leave from AFB Waterkloof in Centurion bound for bases around the country in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape. A stop was also made at the SANDF mobilisation centre in Bloemfontein.