SANDF sparks the curiosity of the public at the Rand Show
Article and photos by Cpl Ally Rakoma
Brown tents covered in camouflage nets and the display of a wide range of landward, air and maritime military hardware sparked the curiosity of the members of the public at the Rand Show held at Nasrec Expo Centre south of Johannesburg from 28 March to 01 April 2013.
The Rand Show has evolved from a humble agricultural show when it was founded in 1895 as organised by the Witwatersrand Agricultural Society. It has a proud track record of staging South Africa’s best loved family outing, shopping and entertainment extravaganza. It remains an icon in the City of Johannesburg’s history.
The Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, on behalf of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, was the main functionary. He inspected the parade and delivered the opening address. He paid tribute to the thirteen (13) SANDF soldiers who perished and the twenty-seven (27) that were injured during a battle with rebels in Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR). He added that the Department of Defence was proud of these soldiers. “In their deaths we find the strength to carry on delivering on our constitutional mandate to defend the sovereignty of the Republic of South Africa and to support her people”.
He said that the Rand Show had grown in leaps and bounds and had over the years established itself as one of the largest consumer exhibitions in the world. “It is the best trade show for exhibiting furniture, food, outdoor lifestyle accessories, arts and crafts, promotional materials, household supplied, decoration articles and textiles”, he said.
Dr Gulube also noted that this year’s Rand Show was taking place following the 5th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit held earlier in the week in Durban. “Inescapably our country’s economic growth is linked to such partnerships with global players. The African Agenda became prominent when Trade Ministers from all BRICS countries pledged increased support for the African continent”.
In conclusion, he said that the aim of the SANDF’s participation in the Rand Show was to display, demonstrate and exhibit the SANDF’s capabilities to ensure that the people of South Africa were safe and felt safe. “This is in line with various policies and initiatives that are undertaken by government in partnership with the people of South Africa”, said Dr Gulube.
The SANDF had an impressive array of military equipment on display with exhibits inside and outside the main hall of the Nasrec Expo Centre covering all our Services.