Military vehicles depart to Northern Cape for exercise

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Defence has warned that there will be an increased presence of foreign military vehicles on South Africa's roads as soldiers and foreign forces make their way to the Northern Cape to participate in Exercise Golfinho.

South Africa is hosting the South African Development Community (SADC) Peace Support Operation Field Training Exercise, or Exercise Golfinho, at the South African Army Combat Training Centre between 1 and 26 September.

According to the department, the presence of military vehicles and soldiers will increase en route to Lohatlha from Upington Airport and the Ramatlabama, Beit Bridge, Ariamsvlei, Lebombo, Maseru and Mahamba border posts.

"The exercise is a demonstration of South Africa's commitment to participation in regional peace support training and hopes to achieve improved regional co-operation in the field of Peace Support Operations," said the department.

The event is aimed at exercising the readiness of its forces in accordance with the African Union roadmap towards establishing the SADC Brigade.

It is also aimed at testing the SADC Brigade's capability to handle conflict situations in line with the evolving international peace keeping framework.

About 5 000 personnel from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) are expected to be participating in the exercise.

In addition, 11 SADC countries will take part. They include forces from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe