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All systems go

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For those not able to attend today's parade, big screens have been erected at the arena.

Refentswe Riet takes aim with a 7.66mm light machine gun during his visit to the fan park yesterday.

IT IS ALL systems go for the Armed Forces Day parade that will take place in Kimberley today.

Members of the various armed services of the SANDF held rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the event.

More than 3 000 members of the armed forces will march through the city. They will be followed by a convoy of vehicles approximately 6.2 kilometres long.

The last day of the armed forces demonstrations at the fan park at the AR Abass Stadium took place yesterday.

Hundreds of city residents, from pre-school children, high school pupils and the elderly from different old age homes, attended the finale.

SANDF Marketing and Recruitment official, Monica Mogotsi, said that the Armed Forces Day events held at the AR Abass Stadium and other venues in the city, had been a huge success.

“The people came in their numbers to the events. We had between 17 000 and 20 000 visitors daily. What was a highlight, was that the spectators were different ages,” said Mogotsi.

“The aim of the fan park was not only to showcase the capabilities of the armed forces but it was also a career exhibition for pupils of the Province, in order for them to be recruited and educated about the different opportunities available to them.”

Mogotsi said that they had received thousands of applications from youngsters who are interested in joining the SANDF.

“We had more than 18 000 applications yesterday. Youngsters were submitting their curriculum vitaes daily.

“The majority of applications we received were for the South African Army as many youngsters do not have mathematics and science in order to qualify for the Air Force or the Navy.”

Mogotsi also urged those applicants who might not make the selection to keep trying.

“We will start with selections in April. Those who might not get selected can apply the next year. Application forms will be available at the Army Support Base in February 2019.”

She added that they have put measures in place for those who cannot attend today’s parade.

“There will be two big screens erected at the arena where people can watch live streaming of the parade. Entry into the arena will be free for the public and people can bring their camping chairs along. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed into the arena. We will open the gates before 8am and will close the gates at 2pm. There will be no demonstrations but the exhibitions will still be on show,” she said.

Mogotsi said that they have made sure to make the experience pleasant for all attendees.

“We had 100 environmental employees who ensured that the arena is clean and there is no litter lying around. We also had hundreds of children who were ferried in by bus from surrounding towns. We ensured that the opportunities in the armed forces are spread to everyone and not just those residing in Kimberley. The aim of educating people, especially the youth, on the armed forces was definitely reached,” Mogotsi said.