SA Navy participation during the 2018 Bleomfontein Show

Article and Photos by: Able Seaman Nontsikelelo Tams & Able Seaman Charity Selogilwe

The Bloem Show is an annual event in Bloemfontein and its hosted every year between April and May. This show takes place over a period of 10days and is one of the only two shows in South Africa that still successfully combine Agricultural, entertainment and trade activities in one event.

LS Mbatha showing how a Navy bed (known as a “bunk” in sailor’s terms) is done in basic training.

After the preparations done from 23-24 April 2018, final inspections were conducted by the SO1 for Visual Communications from the Directorate Corporate Communications of the SANDF, Mr. Chappy Holtzhausen with the other Bloemfontein show organizers from the different Arms of Service. The final inspection was done to check safety risk factors and to do a walk-through each military display area to ensure that they provide the public with correct and adequate information during their visit to each SANDF exhibition. The inspection turned out to be a success and the SANDF exhibition was pronounced ready for the official opening on the 26th of April 2018.

LS Da Silver showing Mr C. Holtzhausen and his team various rope work display.

The SA Navy display attracted many visitors at the Bloem Show

The SA Navy had various displays to show to the public such as Seamanship, a SA Navy diving display, Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) boats, and various weapon displays from the South African Navy Armaments Depot (SANAD). The people of Free State Province were very excited to see the SA Navy display as it is something unfamiliar to them.

A precision drill by the SA Navy was demonstrated under the Command of Warrant Officer Masango and the instructor, Chief Petty Officer Linda Gombela. The Precision drill attracted a lot of attention from the public.

The South African Junior Rating Precision Drill was established in 1922 by the Natal Command in Durban. It faded away in the 1950’s and it was reintroduced in 1997 during the South African Navy’s 75th birthday celebration. The Precision Drill is designed to teach a precise and an orderly way of conducted military drill movements. Members are taught to instantly respond to commands, and it promotes teamwork and discipline. The entire routine is performed without any spoken commands and members must memorise the entire routine. The South African Navy Junior Rating Precision Drill is based in Simon’s Town in the Western Cape and it consist of 20 junior ratings and two drummers, Petty Officer Tladi and Able Seaman Moletsane.