Mbatha calls on Sapper regiments

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Further evidence of Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha’s hands-on approach to being the number one in the SA Army comes with a call on the eastern Gauteng base at Dunnottar, home to two Engineer Formation units and a budding Project Koba-Tlala agricultural enterprise.

His visit was, SA Army Corporate Communication SSO Colonel Sammy Mosiane reports, another in a round of “communication periods” with “level three and four establishments” in the landward force.

According to the SSO, Mbatha told the Sapper units to remain “optimistic” as regards the “huge requirement for resources, especially funding”. This in the light of “the political head of the department (Minister Thandi Modise) making the necessary commitment to minimise factors that may have a detrimental effect on operational needs of the SA Army”.

Mbatha also updated 1 Construction and 35 Engineer regiments on plans to evolve Project Koba-Tlala into a production brigade in the landward force. The project has its origins in providing work, initially via agricultural input, to provide fresh produce to military messes, with North West’s Potchefstroom as the pilot. It was envisaged Koba-Tlala would provide employment – and income – for Reserve Force soldiers when not in uniform. The concept spread wider going as far as an involvement in rural security and now resorts in the SA Army Corporate Services directorate.