The Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Cllr Danny Jordaan, has expressed his gratitude to the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula, for her decision to bring the inaugural Armed Forces Week to Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Executive Mayor was speaking during a press conference held on board one of the South African Navy ships, the SAS Drakensburg, at the Port Elizabeth harbour on Friday, February 12, 2016. The press conference was held to give updates on the details of the Armed Forces Week and to welcome some of the Navy vessels and other military elements that arrived in the City this morning.
“We note that it is the first time that the event is extended from the annual Armed Forced Day on 21 February to a week-long series of events and exhibitions of all the divisions of the defence force, viz; the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Medical. We are also proud that we can provide the SA Navy, the hosts of the 2016 Armed Forces Week, with a platform to, for the first time, exhibit its assets where they belong: on and in the sea,” said Executive Mayor Jordaan.
The Mayor added that the decision by the Ministry reaffirmed the City as a strategic destination of choice for major events. “Among our attributes, we offer two harbours, excellent accommodation and conferencing infrastructure, favourable weather and, best of all, the friendly, hospitable people of the Bay. You could not have chosen a better place for the week!”
He was equally please with the type of community engagements and service delivery programmes selected as part of the Armed Forces Week programme. During this week, the community of Nelson Mandela Bay will see the South African National Defence Force officers spread across the City on different programmes like a clean-up campaign, refurbishment of old age homes, coaching clinics, fan park displays, school excursions and community concerts.
“This truly demonstrate without doubt that the SANDF is a people-oriented organisation. I am confident that the friendly people of our Metro will receive you with their renowned warmth and hospitality,” said Mayor Jordaan. Currently all hotels and guests houses along the beach area and the surroundings are fully book for the duration of Armed Forces Week.
More than 3000 military officers and the artillery of the SANDF, Commander in Chief, and President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma will be part of the programme and, more importantly, Armed Forces Day, which will be held on February 21, 2016.
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