The SANDF’s Military Academy in Saldanha, which houses Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Military Science, is to once again embark on its annual Exercise Trans Enduro – an expedition on land and sea from Gqeberha to Saldanha.
Students of the Military Academy has been planning, funding and taking part in Trans Enduro for more than 30 years.
The race is held to raise funds for the Military Academy’s MASIZA community outreach programme, while the students are also involved in social impact projects along way such as cleaning streets and neighbourhoods, painting school buildings, and visiting retirement homes.
The MASIZA programme this year focuses on the Senior Citizens and Early Childhood Development.
“The entire exercise is planned and executed by the Academy students. This develops their leadership skills and enhances their understanding of the practical issues related to community service. In return, communities get exposed to the high calibre of the young men and women serving in defence of the country,” says Lieutenant Colonel Morné Booÿjens, Chief Military Instructor at the Military Academy and serving as mentor to participants.
Nine teams, including land, running, log, signal, media, cycling and sea teams – travel from the Eastern Cape to Saldanha over a period of 10 days, staying over in towns along the way.
While the cycling team covers a certain distance on bicycles (100km), the sea team travels along the coast with two rubber dinghies, and the land team drives with vehicles from town to town collecting money, while the log team prepares for the other teams’ arrival. There is also a running team that covers 10 km each day. At certain points the teams change.
Also, it is tradition that the mayor of each town writes a short letter of goodwill to the mayor of the next town. The letter is handed to the exercise commander who delivers it to the mayor of the next town.
Each morning will see a short opening ceremony as organised in conjunction with the various mayoral committees of municipalities along the way.
Opening ceremonies take place daily at the following venues:
|Date||Municipality||Venue for Opening||Starting Time|
|Fri 25 Nov `22||Nelson Mandela Bay (Gqeberha)||Shark Pier||07:30|
|Sat 26 Nov `22||Kouga (Jeffrey’s Bay)||Dolphin Beach; Diaz Rd||07:30|
|Mon 28 Nov `22||Bitou (Plettenberg Bay)||Central Beach; Hopewood Rd||07:30|
|Tue 29 Nov `22||George||Garden Route Mall; Knysna Rd||07:30|
|Wed 30 Nov `22||Hessequa (Still Bay)||Still Bay Harbour; Main Rd||07:30|
|Thu 01 Dec `22||Cape Agulhas (Struisbaai)||Struisbaai Harbour; Harbour Rd||07:30|
|Fri 02 Dec `22||Overstrand (Hermanus)||New Harbour||07:30|
|Sat 03 Dec `22||City of Cape Town (Blouberg Strand)||Blouberg Strand||07:30|
Sat 03 Dec ’22
|Saldanha Bay||Hoedjies Bay Beach||14:00|
MORE ABOUT EXERCISE TRANS ENDURO
The historical evolution of Exercise Trans Enduro is traceable to 1982 when a group of young officers discovered that they had no leave remaining after the examinations. These officers persuaded the Commandant to allow them to undertake an endurance race from Port Elizabeth to Saldanha over ten days using two inflatable rubber boats. This initial effort diversified and evolved over the period of 30 years.
The military students are divided into nine teams, of which three are endurance teams. The endurance teams are the Cycling (50 km every day), Sea (between 20 and 50 sea miles per day depending on sea conditions) and Running Teams (10 km every day). The other teams are Masiza, who is responsible for community service along the route and various support teams: the Land Team (responsible for collecting funds), Media Team (responsible for advertising and communication), Signal Team (responsible for communications between teams), Log Team (responsible for exercise logistics) and Kaaswors Team (responsible for beverages and entertainment).
After almost 3 decades of endurance as an only objective, the students have decided to add community related relief work amongst the disadvantaged communities. For clarification purposes – we cannot and are not trying to eradicate poverty, but strive to prove that we as soldiers do take up our position as responsible citizens in the community through this interaction.