“We’re back with a big bang!” These were the words of Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga, spokesperson for the SANDF, addressing members of the press at the recent media launch of the Rand Show 2012. And it would appear that he’s not kidding.
The four arms of the SANDF – the army, airforce, navy and health services – have put together an action-packed programme for Rand Show visitors this year.
The Army will, in the words of Major Merle Meyer from Army Communications, be “bringing the game reserve”. Come and take a closer look at a Mamba, Ratel, Rooikat and Olifant, and the Meerkat, Zebra, Husky and Duisendpoot from the army maintenance division. There will also be an MK2 tank and a tank transporter – great fun to clamber about in. You’ll also be able to test your skill in the Elac, the Defence Force’s shooting simulator. “It won’t cost you a cent, but your ego might well take a dip,” jokes Major Meyer.
In the Airforce zone, there will be a Rooivalk helicopter on display, as well as a fire truck and displays of survival kits and exhibits on aircraft mechanics.
The Navy will exhibit a harbour patrol boat, as well as the SUT 264 and the E14 DAPHNE torpedoes, a 40/50 Bofor canon, a Browning machine gun and SS 77 machine gun, as well as a Skerpioen surface-to-surface missile.
The Navy’s hydrography display will feature a survey motor boat, side-scan sonar and a remote operating vehicle. Let the kids wave at the navy divers inside the tank at the diving display, while you check out the deep-diving and underwater damage control equipment.
The Military Health Service (SAMHS) has an interactive programme lined up for visitors. SAMHS personnel will be teaching basic first aid, and running a competition where children will learn how to clean shoes and make beds well enough to pass an army inspection (let’s hear a “hooray” from all the moms!). Dieticians will also be giving healthy-living briefings, and there’s a Basic Fitness competition to test whether you would be fit enough to join SAMHS.
And then of course, there’s an action-packed programme of displays in the Rand Show arena. Airshow demonstrations, air drops, simulated combat scenes, dog performances, SANDF bands…expect thrills, big bangs, and impressive displays of the Defence Force’s capabilities.
“We promise Rand Show visitors a spectacular event this year,” says Brigadier General Mabanga. “The SANDF is confident that our participation will live up to this world-class event.”
THE RAND SHOW 2012
WHEN: From Friday 6 to Monday 15 April 2012. Gates open each day at 9am and close at 6pm, although the Show will remain open until 8pm.
WHERE: Johannesburg Expo Centre,Rand Show Road, Nasrec. (GPS – S26° 14.810’ E27° 58.695’)
COST: Adults – R80; Pensioners over 65-years – R40; Kids 12-16 – R40; Kids 6 – 12 – R20; Under 6 – free.
Tickets are available at the gate or through Computicket. (There is no surcharge on Computicket tickets.)
VALUE: Your ticket gets you free entry to events as published on the web