Soldiers employing voice in the fight against coronavirus


It’s not all assault rifles and threats in the coronavirus mitigation campaign the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is currently deployed on with loudhailers used to inform of the dangers inherent in the pandemic.

A special COVID-19 edition of the SANDF publication SA Soldier highlights aspects of work being done by the national defence force. This ranges from the by now standard patrols and roadblocks in support of the national police service through to logistics, support to soldiers and other deployed military personnel by SANDF Chaplain Services and force’s Human Resources Division as well as patient tracing.

In Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, where soldiers allegedly were complicit in the death of a resident over the Easter weekend, vehicles fitted with loudspeakers are another addition to efforts to “flatten the curve”.

According to SA Soldier, reprinted verbatim, “The SANDF has reinforced its fight against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and exerted effort to encourage lockdown regulations in congested communities around the country.

“Townships such as Alexandra in Johannesburg are areas of concern as they are densely populated and the fear of infection has led to more deliberate measures to curb the spread.

“SANDF units on the ground have now employed the use of a loud-hailing system to warn residents about the dangers of coronavirus, many have still not understood the grip it has on numerous countries around the world.

“On looking residents have largely welcomed the presence of law enforcement agencies on patrols as they hailed messages of support.”

SANDF Provost Marshal Rear Admiral (JG) Alpheus Maphoto, on a morale boosting visit to the area, is reported as saying: “Teach people they can save themselves if they just comply with the regulations”.