RAMAPHOSA LAUDS SANDF OVER TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES
President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for its technological capabilities which he said are; “globally sought after.” Speaking in Kimberley amid the Armed Forces Day celebrations, President Ramaphosa indicated that headways have been made. “Much of our technological capability shows that we are well positioned, through our armed forces, to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The SANDF in collaboration with local firms has outmaneuvered many an African country and stands to be counted in as one of the leaders in the world by having reignited its technological advances and perceived to have regained its global defence acclaim. Technology is deployed across the various branches of the military and for internal and external operations.
President Ramaphosa delved into the business of the SANDF by flagging its job creation programmes such as the navy’s participation in Operation Phakisa. “Through Operation Phakisa, SANDF aims to enhance ship-building. During this year, the SANDF will lead the rejuvenation of Naval Dockyard in Simon’s Town. It will commence with the building of patrol and survey vessels for the South African Navy to rejuvenate the national ship building industry. This project will create 570 high technical jobs and 4,500 indirect jobs over the next five years.”
He also flagged successes in the SANDF’s Operation Thusano which is in partnership with the Cuban armed forces “that involves the maintenance of and repairing of the SANDF operational maintenance fleet.” President Ramaphosa added that a total of 446 South Africans are apprentices and a further 395 have qualified as technicians through transfer of practical knowledge by the Cubans.
With the SANDF also having become civilian friendly, President Ramaphosa used his address to inspire, reminding many of South Africa’s first Commander-in-Chief Nelson Mandela. “So when we look at our armed forces we see a manifestation of the South Africa that belongs to all of us, black and white, which our Constitution direct us to build.
“This day is a reminder that our soldiers are an integral part of us, not an external force. You are a bedrock of our communities. You are our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, neighbours. We dare not fail to appreciate how the peace we enjoy lives alongside the constant vigilance and readiness that enables you keep us as safe as we are.”