South Africa: On Friday, the Chief of the South African Landward Force, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha, held a Communication period at the SA African Army Signal Formation, which is conveniently nestled in Wonderboom, in the Northern part of the administrative Capital, Pretoria.
This was the third of its kind in the 2023 calendar. The first communication period was held recently at Sergeant Mudau Hall at South African Army Headquarters. This was followed closely by yet another inspiring and informative session held at the Army Support Formation.
To hordes of SA Army members, predominantly Signallers who came in droves at the Signal Formation, the communication period was invigorating, as it yielded positives, let alone offer a glimmer of hope through depths interventions by the Chief of the South African Army.
Through a series of communication periods that the Chief of the South African Army has held over the past two years in the length and breadth of the country wherein he visited all the SA Army units, new and different ideas were generated, which resulted in the SA Army Units, Brigades, Formations and Directorates being revived like a watered flower. This was also hailed as a trailblazing step in the right direction as drastic improvements were made.
Lessons were also drawn from these Communication periods, which made the SA Army stand out to be counted among the best, and this confounded the doubting Thomases. It is also important to mention that during the 2022 fiscal year, the SA ARMY members knuckled down to serious business, notching one success after the other.
Among them was the successful execution of Exercise VUK’UHLOME, wherein the SA Army cemented its reputation as an indomitable force in the African military. The Exercise has pole positioned the SA Army for its various roles in the country and the continent, let alone in the global arena.
Furthermore, another milestone which served as a necessary and vivid reminder that the SA Army is the Army that cares for its citizens was the successful refurbishment, renovation and refurbishment of Seochoareng home for the elderly and Oom Soldaat van Wyk’s residence in Kimberley. For the Senior Citizens, it was immensely freeing to see the SA Army restoring their impaired dignity.
Facing a similar predicament is Ferdinand Primary School, which is situated in Weenen, KwaZulu-Natal. This area is rife with poverty, and the buildings in the school are in a bad state, teetering at the brink of collapse. A robust committee structure was put in place by the Chief of the South African Army, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha so that the project could be wrapped up as soon as humanely possible. In this regard, just like in the Kimberley community outreach project, the SA Army is once again in high gear to implement the project, let alone raise its generosity bar.
During his communication period, Lieutenant General Mbatha explained at length aspects that included, among other things, the Theme of the SA Army, the Defence Review of 2015, the Constitutional Mandate of the SA National Defence Force, the Constitutional Mandate of the SA Army, the SA Army Values, Budget, the Chief of the SA Army’s Intent, SA Army Staffing, the DPBEC Summary which entailed among others Mobile Exit Mechanism and Uniform, Community Outreach Projects, Asset Management, Key Areas of Concern, the Dedication Service, Armed Forces; Planned Activities for the 2023 Calendar Year, the SA Army Book Launch and the SA Army’s Sporting prowess, an achievement which is worthy of emulation. Another bright feather in the SA Army’s hat was the SA Army Choirs that took choral music to a completely new trajectory as they have also scooped numerous accolades in various choral competitions.
The Chief of the SA Army also cautioned the members to avoid ugly scenes of Gender Based Violence and that they must ensure that it doesn’t find a breeding ground in the SA Army.
After addressing the members who had packed the Signal Formation Hall to its rafters, the Chief of the SA Army gave the members a platform to ask questions. He urged them not to shy away from voicing their discontent; thereafter, he dealt with the matters that were raised most respectfully and tactfully.
The Chief of the SA Army also motivated the members by telling them without any equivocation that no storm lasts forever. He said: “Let us continue to work together. The problem is not yours, the problem is not mine, the problem is ours. Let us plan to succeed, not to fail”.