Trans Enduro 2018

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This year’s Military Academy Trans Enduro event will start at Qunu in Eastern Cape in tribute to the Nelson Mandela centenary year.

The fund raising event has long been a part of Academy tradition and will this year also mark the centenary of Albertina Sisulu.

Students of the Military Academy which houses Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Military Science have planned, funded and taken part in Trans Enduro for more than 30 years. The race raises funds for the Military Academy’s Masiza community outreach programme, with students also involved in social impact projects along the way. This sees them cleaning streets and neighbourhoods, painting school buildings and visiting retirement homes.

The Masiza programme this year focuses on the girl child and early childhood development. Students collected sanitary products and will hand these out at schools on the route which ends in Saldanha after its Eastern Cape start. Other route points include East London, Port Elizabeth (part of the Nelson Mandela Metro), Jeffrey’s Bay, Plettenberg Bay, George, Stilbaai, Struisbaai, Overstrand, and Cape Town.

The theme of Trans Enduro 2018 is “Thuma mina” (Send me) – in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call during his inaugural State of the Nation address for South Africans to “accept the call to selflessly serve the embattled nation”.
“The entire exercise is planned and executed by Academy students. This develops leadership skills and enhances their understanding of practical issues related to community service. In return, communities are exposed to high calibre young men and women serving in defence of the country,” said Lieutenant Colonel Morné Booÿjens, Chief Military Instructor at the Military Academy and mentor to participants.

Nine teams, including land, running, log, signal, media, cycling and sea teams – travel from the Eastern Cape to Saldanha over a period of 11 days, staying over in towns along the way. The event starts in Qunu on November 27 and ends in Saldanha on December 18.

While the cycling team covers a certain distance on bicycles, the sea team travels along the coast with two rubber dinghies and the land team drives with vehicles from town to town collecting money. The log team is tasked with preparing for the other teams’ arrival. There is also a running team that covers 10 km each day. At certain points teams change places.

It is tradition for the mayor of each town to write a short letter of goodwill to the mayor of the next town. The letter is handed to the exercise commander who delivers it to the mayor of the next town.

Each morning there is a short opening ceremony organised in conjunction with mayoral committees of municipalities along the way.