SANDF continues to contribute humanitarian aid to KZN


Food, clothing, stationery and blankets were among items of humanitarian aid delivered to recipients in KwaZulu-Natal by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) following devastating flooding in April.

Lieutenant Phuti Badimo reports for the SANDF that the Chaplain Service of the SANDF concluded its humanitarian support mission in KwaZulu-Natal on 30 June with a final distribution at Yellowwood Park Civic Hall; Bayview Community Hall; Burlington Hall in Shallcross; and Greenfields, Mariannridge.

Under the Operation Chariot banner, the Chaplain Service and strategic partners were tasked by the Chief of the SANDF to plan the mobilisation of humanitarian support to affected flood victims. The operation initially took place from 4 May to 16 June but was later extended, with a second phase of distribution from 28 to 30 June.

“The impact of the SA National Defence Force during Operation Chariot in the KwaZulu-Natal province has changed the perception of the citizens. The unfortunate state of affairs continues to give rise to the realisation that the SA National Defence Force is one for the people,” said the Chaplain General of the SA National Defence Force, Brigadier General (Reverend) Thabo Masweu.

“We are the last line of defence. We are obligated to serve, even in the most unfavourable conditions. As the SA National Defence Force, we have given the people of KwaZulu-Natal hope during Operation Chariot. We are a force for good, the force for change”, Masweu added.

During both phases of humanitarian relief assistance, the Chaplain Service donated 967 blankets; 1 916 x 5 litre bottles of water; 489 grocery packages; 1 215 personal care packages; five food pallets; 350 boxes of clothing; and 351 items of stationary. The food pallets comprised flour, tins of fruit and vegetables, mielie meal, washing powder and tinned fish.

“One of the highlights of Operation Chariot would be seeing the look of delight on the faces as well as the jollification of those we have assisted. Being told that the SA National Defence Force humanitarian aid arrived just in the nick of time, gave me great pride”, said the Chaplain General.

SANDF members continue to provide other forms of humanitarian assistance to KwaZulu-Natal, including clearing and rebuilding roads and purifying water for drinking.