Monday will see the departure of a seven-strong convoy of vehicles from AFB Waterkloof carrying festive season cheer for the just on two thousand soldiers currently deployed on the border protection tasking Operation Corona.
The vehicles will ferry representatives of the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) goodwill parcels project along with military officers to a number of bases where Corona units are deployed.
Stops will be made in all seven South African provinces with land borders before the vehicles return at AFB Zwartkop on Thursday, December 13. Included in the schedule are Macadamia and Sand River in Mpumalanga; Sonstraal, Musina, Pontdrift and Madimbo in Limpopo; Pongola, Ndumo and Himeville in KwaZulu-Natal, Ladybrand in Free State, Matatiele in Eastern Cape and Upington in Northern Cape and Gopane in North West.
Sponsor for this year goodwill project are Mpact, Sanlam, Old Mutual, SA Army Foundation, Avbob, Mintirho ya Vulavula, Promasidor, Huletts, Anchor Yeast, Umkhombe Marine, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) Fund and Unilever.
Hampers for the families of those who will not be home for the festive season because of the deployment will be delivered before Christmas Lieutenant Colonel Piet Paxton, SANDF (Joint Operations Division, SO1, Operational Communication, said. The hamper part of the goodwill project is co-ordinated by the SANDF Spouses Forum.
The goodwill parcels for South African soldiers and other military personnel deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the UN peace support mission MONUSCO will receive their parcels between 21 and 26 January. It was decided to delay delivery until after presidential elections in the central African country, scheduled for December 23.