SANDF personnel swap rifles for brooms on maintenance day

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SA National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel from the four services last Friday (19 January) responded to General Rudzani Maphwanya’s maintenance day call.

Armed with shovels, rakes, pruning shears and other tools, airmen and women, medics, sailors and soldiers as well as technical personnel from at least one Department of Defence (DoD) division – the Jan Kempdorp Ammunition Depot – took to their units, bases, offices and surrounds on a clean-up mission. Shovels were used to clear sand and dirt from roadsides along with rakes on lawns and grassed areas with gloved hands pressed into service to collect and remove all manner of trash.

The effort, led by Maphwanya and Military Command Council (MCC) members at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof, is the first of many, with South Africa’s senior soldier declaring the same will happen every third Friday of the month from here on.

Speaking to his co-cleaners at the Centurion base, Maphwanya said the maintenance effort would provide ongoing evidence of improvement in the condition and state of military bases and facilities.

Reports of clean-up and maintenance were received from the SA Air Force (SAAF) College in Thaba Tshwane and the nearby SA Army Works Formation Headquarters as well as the SA Army Headquarters Unit in Dequar Road.

The new man in charge of corporate services for the air force, Brigadier General Donovan Chetty, noted cleaning bases was not “just about maintaining a tidy environment – it’s about fostering a culture of respect, discipline and pride in our surrounds”.