Monthly Archives: February 2019

Armed Forces Day 2019 Capability Demonstration

The South African National Defence Force showed off their muscles in the Sunset beach area after a successful parade moments before.
A capability demonstration was shown off to the public from land, sea and air. The bay was in good hands with a large presence of Navy Frigates, Lima Boats and a Submarine. Some of the vehicles we don’t see to often. A big treat for the Johannesburg based media!

A mock scene was set up of a hostage scenario on the beach,where the aggressive enemy took hostage of civilians.The task came out to take over the situation and restore peace.
A C130BZ from 28 Squadron flew into the tense area and delivered a boat and troops with parachutes into the area where most navy vessels were visible.

A recce run was than called in,this in the form of two Hawk Mk120s from 85 Combat Flying School and escorted by two 2 Squadron Gripens.
An Oryx helicopter then came in for some tropping,escorted by two 16 Squadron Rooivalks also providing top cover for troops.

The Lima boats then made their way towards the shoreline to bring much needed troops to obtain the beach area. The Fighters were then called in for a bombing run, yet again with two hawks and gripens. The fighters also released flares while they exited the bombing area.

One of the troops got injured while the bombing run was taking place, a Agusta A109LuH came to the rescue as well as an Oryx helicopter. A 22 Squadron Lynx also provided top cover for both the troops and the navy vessels out in the bay. The situation was now in the hand of the SANDF.

This capability demonstration was the best Aviation Central has witnessed with all different elements of the SANDF.A big well done to everyone who made this exercise a success.

Armed Forces Day 2019 Parade

The day finally arrived for the 2019 Armed Forces Day celebrations in the form of a parade and capability demonstration on the shores of Sunset beach in the Table View area.

The South African National Defence Force celebrate this particular Armed Forces Day every year, as each province gets a turn to host the event and this years forms of arms was the South African Navy that would be part of the planning in their home town.

The SS Mendi was a British 4,230 GRT passenger steamship that was built in 1905 and, as a troopship, sank after collision with great loss of life in 1917.

“As Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force, it is a great honour to address you on this National Armed Forces Day.
It is the day on which we acknowledge the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the service of this country.

You have answered the most noble calling – to defend the Republic, to protect her sovereignty and guard her territorial integrity.
You have sworn to serve South Africa and its people in accordance with the Constitution, and to uphold its values.
Ngokwamkela lengubo yamalungu ooMkhosi, nibonisa ukunyaniseka kwenu kwiLizwe lwenu; ukuzibophelela ekusebenzeleni iLizwe lwenu ngentlonipho, ngesidima, ngesibindi nokuthembeka.
Kungoko ke ndiyanibulela; nesizwe ngokubanzi, siyanibulela.

The 21st of February holds deep significance for us as South Africans.
It marks the day of the sinking of the troop carrier vessel the SS Mendi.
On that fateful day in 1917, 805 souls perished in the English Channel on their way to the Western Front during the First World War.
The soldiers aboard the SS Mendi were volunteers in the then South African Native Labour Corps.

They were among 25,000 others who joined the corps during a war that began in Europe but soon became a global conflict affecting people on nearly every continent.
The men who died on the SS Mendi and others of the Native Labour Corps who served in the trenches in France did not enlist to further the advance of imperialism.

They volunteered at a time when the 1913 Land Act had cut a devastating swathe across black communities in this country, and they hoped with their service to get a chance to provide for their families.
They also saw it as a chance to play their part in defence of the freedom and preservation of humankind.

They are our heroes, and it is our duty to impart to our children the story of their bravery and courage.
I wish to congratulate the Ministry of Defence for ensuring that this important part of our history is kept alive; and wish to acknowledge the survivors and their descendants, some of whom are here with us today.

Today, we wish to extend our condolences to the family, friends and unit of Corporal Randal Jacques Krynauw.
He lost his life on Wednesday the 6th of February, while he was travelling to be part of preparations for today’s event.
I also wish his injured colleagues a speedy recovery.
Ons gedenk vandag alle gevalle soldate wat in opdrag en belang van ons land gesterf het.
It does not matter how or where they fell – they paid the ultimate price.
Ons sal hul opofering vir altyd onthou – en vereer.

We are joined here today by Mr Jany Fournier the Mayor of the town of Longueval in France.
Longueval is where our National War Memorial commonly known as Deville Wood is situated.
To you and your delegation, Sir, I say Bienvenue, Wamkelekile, Welkom.
On National Armed Forces Day we honour our veterans and those still in uniform.

We also honour their families, for the sacrifice of serving in uniform is also the sacrifice of a family and of a community.
You have given us the best of your men and women, who left you in the bloom and enthusiasm of youth, and who returned wiser, disciplined and stronger.
It is said that it is only in the service to one’s fellow human that one’s mettle is truly tested; and the armed forces of democratic South Africa can be justifiably proud of having produced soldiers of resolve, of steadfastness and of great patriotism.

Through National Armed Forces Day we want to display to our people the capabilities and state of readiness of our armed forces.
We also want to expand the public’s understanding of the military’s function and purpose in our society.
The roles that the military plays are diverse.
We all recall the iconic image of a young mother, clutching her new-born baby Rosita as she was pulled to the safety of a SANDF chopper during the Mozambican floods of 2000.

We also recall with pride the deployment of the South African Military Health Service across hospitals in Gauteng in 2017 after industrial action nearly paralysed services in the province.
A year later, military health personnel were dispatched to Mahikeng Hospital in the North West, where their intervention averted the near collapse of health services in the facility.
At present we have a specialist team of army personnel working in the Vaal area to contain a sewage spillage that is threatening the health and well-being of millions of people.

The SANDF has also been involved in international peacekeeping missions on the continent, notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo under the UN Stabilisation Mission.
We currently have around 1,200 troops in the DRC and are also part of the Force Intervention Brigade together with Tanzanian and Malawian troops.
We continue to support operations in Africa under the United Nations and the African Union.

Whether it is engaging in anti-piracy patrols in the Mozambique Channel, battling veld fires in the Cape, doing border patrols as part of Operation Corona or attending to critical infrastructure, our national defence force is a source of enduring pride.
It is a pride we want to impart to the next generation.
For the SANDF to effectively carry out its mission, we need to recruit high-calibre individuals into its ranks.

The armed forces are a home for the youth of this country.
It is the means through which they can serve, through which they can also step forward and say: Thuma Mina, send me.
In 2018, 1,700 young people were recruited through the Military Skills Development Programme and successfully placed in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Medical Health Services.

They commenced training in January at their respective training units and we wish them well.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The role of the armed forces has over the years had to evolve in response to ever-changing global military, political, social and economic conditions.

Our Navy, the host of today’s event, has a particularly critical role to play.
We have a 3,000 km long coastline, the third largest in Africa, and are strategically located on one of the world’s most vital shipping lanes.

Over 96 per cent of our own exports and imports are carried by sea.
South Africa’s exclusive economic zone is currently the extent of one and a half million square kilometres.

With such a large ocean jurisdiction, the need for effective maritime protection by our navy has never been greater.
This has become all the more important since South Africa, together with other nations, adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.

Goal 14 obliges countries to take measures to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
The South African Navy is, and will remain, key to supporting our National Maritime Security Strategy and advancing our vision to grow our oceans economy.

Like many other coastal countries, we are impacted by the illegal exploitation of our marine resources, which seriously threatens the sustainability of our oceans.
It is upon our Navy that we rely to protect our trade routes, to cooperate with neighbouring countries and international bodies to promote regional maritime security, and to advance our developmental objectives as a country.

We are also aware of the impact of climate change on our oceans.
Coastal communities in particular are vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels.
The resulting extreme weather will require the SANDF to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during General Military Assistance operations both in the country and in the SADC region.

It is also the responsibility of our armed forces to guard our country’s borders against the infiltration of transnational criminal syndicates, the flow of contraband, human trafficking, undocumented migrants and other illicit activities.

It is imperative therefore that all our armed forces are supported to enable them to respond effectively to current realities and threats, as well as emerging ones.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As South Africans ,we are secure in the knowledge that our combined forces are well-trained, capable, and, above all, that they uphold the highest values of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Our armed forces are the great unifier; they are part of what makes us proud to be South African.
As Commander-in-Chief, I say to our men and women in uniform: we value your contribution.
We applaud your professionalism, your discipline and your dedication.
The path you have chosen is not an easy one.
Nor has it been easy for your families and your loved ones.

And yet we know that with your service, you join a long and illustrious line of those who came before you.
Of the brave fallen who lie in Delville Wood and the men of the SS Mendi.
They set sail for Europe’s distant shores in the defence of freedom and in the hope of bringing freedom back home.

They did not live to hear the ring of freedom’s bell.
The dignity they were denied in their lifetime, is the dignity we accord them here, today.
It is the dignity our people enjoy today, especially the men and women of our armed forces.
 In recognising you, we are recognising them, our heroes.

It is of you that the great Homer speaks in The Illiad:
“Without a sign his sword the brave man draws, and asks no omen but his country’s cause.”
To our soldiers, yours is a clear mission, to take the SANDF into the future.
To uphold our constitutional order and the rule of law.
To defend and protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
And above all, to contribute towards the well-being, prosperity and upliftment of the people of South Africa.”

I wish you strength, and I wish you courage.

We look forward to the next Armed Forces Day that will be in either Limpopo or Mpumalanga.

Armed Forces Day 2019 Night Shoot

The mother city, Cape Town came to its awareness that the South African National Defence Force were going to be visible in in parts of the city for the Western Capes edition of Armed Forces Day 2019.Months of work and planning is put in place to execute from the start of the opening of the fan park to the parade itself.

The 18th and 19th February,Sunrise Beach near Muizenburg had been placed out for the night shoot along the shores of the Atlantic ocean.Public were invited to see what the SANDF fire power is alot about from both air and land assets.

A number of residents were not partucular happy with the idea of the SANDF firing and operating in the area.But the SANDF insured that all remains of what will be left behind will be rehabiltated and set back to normal for both forms of life and terrain.

The display of arms of fire of the night shoot,began with two 16 Squadron Rooivalks showing the agility of South Africas very own attack helicopter.The shoot,moved onto the far left of the gun line from the smallest of the weapons to the mighty Bateluar.

As the echos of the thuds moved far into the distance of Cape Town.Memebrs of the public were wpwed by the mighty firepower of their defence force.

Flare drops from both the Rooivalk,Oryx,C130,Two Hawks and Two Gripens lit up the Cape Town skies befpre disappearing into the night brought the close of the proceedings.


Stellenbosch Airshow 2019 What to expect

Stellenbosch Airshow 2019

Stellenbosch Flying Club Airshow

Dubbed FASHKOSH, a play on Stellenbosch’s official airfield name FASH and OSHKOSH, the single biggest airshow and gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world which takes place annually at Oshkosh Wisconsin in the USA, the 2019 Stellenbosch Airshow takes place on the 23rd of March and promises to be bigger, louder and more exciting than in previous years.

Friday 22nd March is a practice day for the participating pilots and the Stellenbosch Flying Club will host a youth development day with around 200 learners from local schools attending where they will have the opportunity to gain first hand insights into possible careers in aviation. They will also be able to get up close to the participating pilots and aircraft, in particular the South African Airforce.

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The program for show day provides non-stop adrenalin and entertainment with some of the highlights of the show being the South African Airforce Silver Falcons, a Boeing 737 airliner flypast, the first public display in South Africa of the Pilatus PC24 small business jet and for the first time in the Western Cape a skydiver will jump with the biggest South African flag ever to fly. Team Extreme will thrill with their precision formation aerobatics display, and Working on Fire will demonstrate it’s capable team of firefighting helicopters and fixed wing aircraft that have been seen hard at work around the Cape over the last few weeks. These are but a few of the exciting aircraft to be seen on the day.

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World renowned airshow commentator Brian Emmenis and Capital Sounds will bring you informative and entertaining commentary and food and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Gates open for spectators at 0800 with visiting aircraft of various descriptions flying in until the emergency cavalcade procession at 1015 whereafter the show will be opened by the skydivers

Tickets are available online at Webticket at R150 for adults and R100 for children. Under four years old enter for free. Numbers are limited and very few tickets will be available at the gate so get yours online early.

Click here to get your tickets online 

Stellenbosch AirShow Program 2019

Wide spread that covers most of the flying disciplines. From paragliders gliders, helo’s, business jets, fighter jets, formation team extreme aerobatics, competition aerobatics, flag jumps, gyro planes, model aircraft, simulated firefighting, simulated armed response and medivac, warbirds, new types on market.

A few not normally seen in the Western Cape. (Hidden in the program are a number of firsts at Stellenbosch.)

Below is subject to availability of aircraft & crew and is not in display order

  1. Power Para Gliders
  2. Large scale model Jets
  3. Biggest SA Flag skydivers
  4. SAAF Silver Falcons
  5. L 39 fighter jet
  6. Aero Machi Bosbok Ex SAAF
  7. Glider and Tug display
  8. Vintage Tiger Moth and Chipmunk display
  9. Emergency vehicle cavalcade
  10. Bell 407 Helicopter
  11. Howard vintage
  12. Cessna 195 vintage
  13. Boeing 737 airliner
  14. “THE HULK” display
  15. Pilatus PC 24 business jet
  16. Motor Glider
  17. Raptors Aerobatic Formation team
  18. RV Aerobatic solo display
  19. Gyrocopter M16
  20. Shock Cub display
  21. Team Extreme Aerobatic team
  22. Aviat Husky short field performance (Stellenbosch first female display pilot)
  23. Nashua Extra 300
  24. Harvard T6 Display
  25. Boeing Stearman Aerobatic display
  26. Black Hawk Helicopter
  27. Huey helicopter
  28. Piper Malibu
  29. Piper Aerostar
  30. Airborne armed response/ medivac demo
  31. Working on Fire demonstration

The above is subject to availability of aircraft and crew. Will be updated closer to the event.

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SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp – Brits Airfield 16 February 2019

SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp – Brits Airfield 16 February 2019 – by Rob Jonkers

As a follow-on to the Rally Navigation Training events held at Aerosud on the 19th of January 2019, it was planned to fly the practice route that was plotted on that day. The 16th February was chosen and as the week unfolded with almost daily rain, it looked auspicious to get good weather, although it looked a little promising on Friday. As the day dawned, the clouds were on the deck throughout Gauteng, north of the Magalies in the Brits area was a bit better. The cloud base only started lifting around 9 am, and then only in patches, so even with 12 teams registered to take part, only 4 teams eventually were able to get to Brits. Frank & Cally Eckard prepared the route packs for the teams and were on hand to do the scoring. 

Frank Eckard – Presenting the Rally Flying Techniques Course

The focus of the day was more related to flying techniques and Frank Eckard provided an hour’s presentation on how to prepare the cockpit, roles of the crew in work sharing, organizing the photos, flying techniques such as speed management, altitude, approach to turn points.

Nigel Hopkins & Mary de Klerk preparing their maps for their flight

The teams then plotted the course, basically replotted the course that was previously prepared a month ago, and went to fly the route. Aerobatics ace & SAA Captain Nigel Hopkins who has been a previous rally world champion 15 years ago, flew with experienced navigator Mary de Klerk, and proved by his excellent score of 64 penalty points that he has not lost his touch in rally flying.

Leon Bouttell & Karyn Purchase preparing their Plots

Veteran Protea Pilot Thys vd Merwe preparing the maps with Navigator Frans Smit

As SAPFA is preparing for the World Rally Flying Championships in 2020, the focus on these two years prior the event, is to gain as many South African qualified teams to take part, and every event being held this year will be an event that can improve skills.

Nigel & Mary preparing the cockpit

To achieve world standard qualification, there is a route to achieve these skills in classes, with Advanced Class as the definitive level of competition, where existing Protea teams would compete and new teams would vie to achieve a qualification standard. The initial Sportsman’s Class is the entry level where teams gain experience to get to try their hand at the Advanced Class. There is also an Intermediate Class, which has a combination of Protea pilots and navigators that fly or navigate with new team members as further skill building in a step to achieve an Advanced level.

A competitive score for Nigel on a route with arcs and follow the feature

The next rally is being held at Virginia on the 26th March, and as the weather was not favourable on this weekend, SAPFA will look at rescheduling this event again at a future date.

Road closures for AFD

Road closures for 18, 19, 20 & 21 February 2019 for armed
Forces day (AFD) night shooting capability demonstration at
Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg and the main AFD presidential para

On Monday 18 February 2019 at about 4am until Wednesday 20 February 2019 at 10am, Sunrise Beach will be closed off to the public and no public will be allowed into the beach area, as an assortment of heavy military fighting vehicles and platforms will be positioned in an extended line on the beach in preparation for the night shoot that will employ live ammunition on 19 February 2019. The beach area will be re-opened on Wednesday morning after the vehicles have cleared the range.
Preparations on 18, 19 February 2019 will take place as follows:
From 4am to 3pm, heavy military vehicles will move into Muizenberg with heavily impacted roads being: Royal, PG Drive, Boyes Drive and Baden Powell.
Rehearsals for the Night Shoot takes place at 5pm to 10pm.
Night Shoot Demonstration on Tuesday 19 February 2019 is scheduled for 5pm until 10pm.
Military demobilisation and clearing of Sunrise Beach by military vehicles will take place from 4am to 10am with vehicles withdrawing to their respective bases.
Road Closures for the Night Shoot from 7pm to 9pm on 18 and 19 February 2019
Royal Road/Axminster Road and Sunrise Circle.
Royal and Axminster parking will be closed. This parking will be for military vehicles.
Bath and Margate Road closed towards Royal Road.
Bath and Recreation closed towards Royal Road.
No vehicles allowed during road closures.
Residents to make use of alternative routes.
Emergency vehicles and other authorised vehicles will be allowed access.

The following road closures will be effected for the Rehearsal of the Main Parade by the mechanised column of military vehicles on 20 and 21 February 2019 as from 4am
Blaauwberg/Popham Residents in this area to enter or exit at
this point Businesses to use Arum Road.
Blaauwberg/Marine Circle No traffic into Marine Circle.
Marine Drive/Athens No traffic onto Marine.
Athens/Claim No traffic towards KFC.
Claim/Visagie No traffic towards Marine.
Otto du Plessis/Marine No traffic onto Marine.
Otto du Plessis/Dolphin Beach No traffic onto Marine.

Residents use Dolphin Beach only.
Marine Circle/Arum No traffic towards Blaauwberg Road. Beach Blvd/Porterfield No traffic along Beach Blvd.
Exit on Arum Road.
Marine Circle/Coral Rd No traffic towards Beach Blvd.
No traffic into Coral Road.

Coral/Foam No traffic onto Foam.
Beach Blvd/Seal No traffic onto Beach Blvd towards Foam.
Exit down Beach Blvd at Shell Rd or Watsonia.
Beach Blvd/Shell No traffic towards Foam.

All traffic to exit Shell onto Marine Drive and towards
Big Bay Blvd or onto Watsonia.
Coral/Watsonia No traffic towards Foam.
Otto du Plessis/Perlemoen No traffic towards Blaauwberg Circle.
Exit towards Big Bay Circle.
Otto du Plessis/ Sir David Baird No traffic towards Blaauwberg Circle.
Exit towards Big Bay Circle.
Otto du PLessis Ocean/Tides Exit only toward Big Bay Circle.
Otto du Plessis /Waves Edge Exit only towards Big Bay Circle.
Otto du Plessis/Big Bay Blvd No traffic towards Blaauwberg Road.



Due to increased aircraft activity around the City of Cape Town as a result of Armed Forces Day 2019 air operations by the SA Air Force, a temporary restricted airspace has been declared by aviation authorities in the area.

The intention of Air Operations within the greater Western Cape airspace is to create awareness and instil a sense of pride and patriotism in the people of South Africa. Military aircraft operating in the Western Cape Region will conduct fly-past and aerial displays within the legal limits of the South African Civil Aviation Authority and Military Regulations.  All aircraft will be under control, by both military and civilian air traffic controllers (ATNS), and will be monitored closely. 

Local and International airspace users are aware of the military flying operations as the necessary communication has been distributed by means of published notices. Additionally, engagements with the local flying fraternity from minor airfields and international airports management were conducted.  These engagements foster close civil military relationships in the aviation sector and create understanding of the planned South African Air Force activities.

Furthermore, and in the interest of aircraft, pilot and public safety, members of the public are warned against the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS-Drones) laser beams or any such devices directed at pilots and aircraft in the sky or persons as this poses tremendous hazards to their safety.

The public of the Western Cape are requested to refrain from interfering with any aviation activities, civilian or military, as interference can constitute a criminal offence. Particular attention is drawn to pointing of lasers at aircraft and the flying of RPAS. The South Africa Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has previously published the following statement concerning the pointing of lasers at aircraft (SACAA, n.d.):

“Members of the public using laser pointers should take note of the risks involved when distracting pilots or air traffic controllers on duty. The potential disastrous consequences of laser beams directed at aircraft by civilians on the ground cannot be ignored.

Flashing a light beam or other energy source, whether visible or not, towards any aircraft, air traffic control tower or any person therein is prohibited by the Civil Aviation Regulations and contravention could result in a fine or imprisonment of 10 years, or both.”

The public in the Western Cape, in particular residents and visitors to Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Muizenberg and Table View/Bloubergstrand in the Cape Town metropole are sensitised that these areas have been declared Temporary Restricted Airspace. The flying of RPAS, also referred to as drones, is therefore prohibited at these venues at the time when the SANDF is displaying to the public. The regulations concerning the flying of drones is summarised accordingly as follows: 

  • Drones cannot fly more than 400ft or 120m above the ground, nor within 10km of an aerodrome or WITHIN RESTRICTED AIRSPACE.
  • Drones cannot be flown within 50m above or close to a person or crowd of people, structure or building – without prior SACAA approval. Nor can you fly drones adjacent to or above:
  • A nuclear power plant.
  • A prison.
  • A police station.
  • A crime scene.
  • A court of law.
  • National key points.
  • You cannot use a public road for the take-off or landing of a drone.
  • You cannot use a drone in adverse weather conditions, where your view of the drone is obstructed since visual contact must be maintained with the drone by the operator – unless in approved beyond visual line of sight or night operations.
  • Drones need to give way to all manned aircraft and should avoid passing over, under or in front of manned aircraft, unless it passes well clear and takes into account the effect of aircraft wake turbulence.

The SANDF urges the public to cooperate with the aviation safety guidelines provided herewith to ensure safe demonstrations and displays. We are proud to display in the Western Cape and trust that the residents and visitors of Cape Town will enjoy the experience. 

The full details of the CAA Aviation Regulations related to RPAS Part 101 can be found on the aviation authority’s website

AFD 2019 kicks off with the fan park fanfare opening ceremony at Khayelitsha’s Mandela park stadium

South African National Defence force (SANDF) armed forces day 2019 kicks off with the fan park fanfare opening ceremony at Khayelitsha’s Mandela park stadium.

Note: Photos from Rand Easter show 2018

The Chief of Staff of the South African National Defence Force, Lieutenant General Vusi Masondo will officially open the Armed Forces Day (AFD) 2019 Fan Park at Mandela Park Sports Stadium in Khayelitsha on 16 February 2019 at 09:00.

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The Fan Park in Khayelitsha is an entertaining and informative experience of the SANDF, its state-of-the-art military hardware and capability demonstration that promises to keep the public on its toes with a wide range of exhilarating activities.

Some of the adrenalin driven activities at the Fan Park include:

  • Aerobatic displays by the Super Falcons.
  • Static displays of State-of-the-Art military hardware.
  • Free Falling demonstration by paratroopers.
  • Rapid Bridge Building demonstrations by SA Army Engineers.
  • A Mock Attack demonstration by air and ground based elements.
  • Gun Run.
  • Sword Drills.
  • Precision Drills.
  • A Hostage Release operation simulation.
  • A Martial Arts demonstration.

The Static Display of Military Equipment, Live Arena Military Demonstrations, Presentation of Career Opportunities and Recruitment of Prospective Soldiers opens on 16 Feb until 19 Feb 2019 at Mandela Park Sports Stadium.


The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is hosting Armed Forces Day (AFD) 2019 in Cape Town from 16 to 21 February 2019. The event is aimed at honouring the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives on the line of duty and those who continue selflessly serving our country. The AFD 19 is the highlight on the SANDF event calendar. This annual celebration by our country’s armed forces is hosted on a rotational basis by each of South Africa’s nine provinces.

The event also coincides with the commemoration of the fateful sinking of the SS MENDI on 21 February 1917 when over 600 South African men perished in the icy waters of the English Channel, of which 607 were from the South African Native Labour Corps and 33 crew members.

The event also serves to create consensus on defence by taking the SANDF to the people. During AFD, the public is afforded an opportunity to interact with the men and women in uniform and is exposed to the capabilities of our country’s state-of-the-art military equipment. AFD is also a platform to test the SANDF’s logistical capabilities and state of readiness.

AFD is a joint presentation by all arms of service and divisions of the SANDF and demonstrates unity of effort from our military.

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The SA Army will contribute an array of assets ranging from long-range artillery guns, tanks and armoured cars, bridge building and water purification capabilities, advanced battle field surveillance and intelligence capabilities, ground based air defence capabilities and battle winning infantry skills.

SA Air Force has a number of assets comprising of ground and air crew, general support staff, command and control personnel inclusive of communication as well as safety and planning elements. Amongst the platforms on display are helicopters: the Agusta A109, Oryx, Rooivalk and Super Lynx. The Gripens and Hawks jet fighters as well as the transport fleet comprising the CASA 212, King Air, PC 12 will also feature at this year’s event.

The SA Navy will contribute two support vessels – (South African Ship) SAS DRAKENSBERG and PROTEA, two Frigates – SAS AMATOLA and SPIOENKOP, two Offshore Patrol Vessels – SAS MAKHANDA, SAS GALESHEWE and a Submarine – S101 SAS MANTATISI. 

The South African Military Health Services (SAMHS) will provide medical support to all SANDF members involved in the event and also exhibit their capabilities such as the Air Droppable Surgical Post, Communicable Disease Isolation Unit and Mobile Hospitals.

The event comprises a series of planned activities building up to the main parade on 21 Feb where the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the SANDF will be the main functionary. 

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These activities are:

Static Display of Military Equipment and Live Arena Military Demonstrations, 16 -19 Feb at the Mandela Park Sports Stadium (Khayelitsha), 08:00 – 18:00 (Daily).

CSANDF/CISM FUN RUN 5km and 10km, 16 Feb at the Sea Point Promenade, (Registration at 06:00), 08:00 for 08:30.

SA Navy Ships and Submarine Opening, 16 – 17 Feb at the V&A Waterfront, Ships:  09:00 – 15:00, Submarine: 10:00 – 14:00.

Band performance and sea cadets marching through, 16 – 17 Feb at the V&A Waterfront, 16:00.

Inter-Faith Service, 17 Feb at Cape Town City Hall at 10:00.

Sports Clinics for primary schools, Grades 6 and 7, 16 – 20 Feb at Pama Road, Khayelitsha Stadium.

Night Shooting Rehearsal, at Muizenberg (Sunrise Beach), 19:30.

Night Shooting, at Muizenberg (Sunrise Beach). 19:30.

Military Parade and Capability Demonstration, 21 Feb: Military parade to include marching and mechanised columns (10:30 -13:00) and will be followed by military capability demonstration (13:00) at Table View Beach.

Entry is free and members of the public are invited to attend. In anticipation of large numbers expected to attend these activities, there will be viewing areas with big screens at the Grand Parade, Mandela Park Sports Stadium (Khayelitsha) and Table View Beach.

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British Airways and the B747 BOAC Liveries

By Niel Swart

We all have our special airplane, the one that makes you stop and look when you here the rumbling of an engine but there is only one that is truly the queen of the skies… the Boeing 747.

The month of February will be a special one as the 9th will see the 50th birthday of the queen. She appeared in movies, series, printed media, social media, toys, puzzles, balloons, birthday/retirement cakes and many will remember the 1995 Ruby World Cup final, Ndizani, 3 Boeing 747’s over the Union Buildings, their first Boeing 747 flight or the first time ever they saw a Boeing 747. She is basically everywhere and this shows the impact she made on everyday life as we know it. To make things more special, every now and then, we as aviation lovers are treated to a special livery Boeing 747.

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Not only is February the birthday of the Boeing 747 but also the birthday of an icon. A nation’s pride, an airline… British Airways. Yes, they will be celebrating their 100th birthday this year. Of course, the British will celebrate like only the British can with special uniforms, official celebrations and the cherry on top for us, a special livery Boeing 747. Not just any special livery… an BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) livery. Yes, you read it correctly… an BOAC livery. This means that G-BYGC will be gracing the skies in BOAC colours as of 18 February when she will leave Dublin as a newly painted Boeing 747 to return to scheduled service as of 19 February until she retires in 2023. As if this is not enough celebrating, G-BYGC will be 20 years with British Airways. At present she mostly does the transatlantic legs but British Airways did hint at the fact that she will be sent on scheduled flights to as many as possible destinations. So there is a chance we may see here either at Johannesburg or Cape Town.

One of BOAC’s original 747-100s in the 1970s
BOAC Retro Liveries

If you thought that was the end, guess again. British Airways announces new 100 year related bits of information often and it is said that at least another 2 Boeing 747’s are to receive retro liveries until they retire. This has not been confirmed as yet but the grapevine is suggesting G-BNLY and G-CIVB will also receive retro liveries until their retirement. G-CIVB being a frequent visitor to the Cape.

So definitely set alerts on your favourite live flight tracking app for these airplanes as you do not want to miss them if they visit and they have a retro livery.

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