The SA National War College’s Peace Mission Training Centre (PMTC) has, thanks to the generosity of Japan, become six vehicles richer.
The 4X4 vehicles were officially handed to the Centre yesterday when the Japanese Vice-Minister of Defence, Minoru Kihara, called on the Thaba Tshwane-based PMTC as part of an official visit to South Africa.
His host, South African Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Kebby Maphatsoe, said Japan was a contributor to the PMTC which he called “a visible symbol of Japan’s efforts to strengthen mechanisms that enhance and build peace and security in Africa”.
The PMTC has been set up with international partners to enable and equip soldiers with skills pertinent to disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration.
“This DDR process is one Arica desperately needs at this point in time,” Maphatsoe said.
The PMTC offers regular courses for military observers, civil military co-ordination and others all aimed at strengthening the reservoir of peacekeeping and peace support knowledge in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
The military observer’s course at the PMTC includes a 4×4 driving skills component using Armscor’s Gerotek facility west of Pretoria. It is thought the vehicles donated by the Japanese will be primarily used in this aspect of the PMTC training work.
During his three day visit vice-Minister Kihara also called on a number of South African defence industry companies in Gauteng and met with Armscor chairman, Johannes Mudimu.
Maphatsoe said Kihara’s visit would allow exploration of both defence and military co-operation between Japan and South Africa.
“This, when added to the South African arms production and procurement industry as well as the exchange of information on defence related matters is a step in the right direction. It opens ways for us to engage on matters of defence and military interest for both our defence forces, in particular the technology and research and development sectors,” the Deputy Minister said.