12/07/2016: Joburg Mayor raises over a million for children of soldiers
The City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Parks Tau on Monday, 11 July 2016, handed over a R1.2 million cheque of funds raised through the annual Mayoral Charity Gold Day in honour and appreciation of members of the South African Defense Force (SANDF).
The cheque was presented to the SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke at a dinner hosted by Mayor Tau at the South African National Military Museum in Parktown. The funds raised will be going into the SANDF Education Trust which assists children of members of the SANDF who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“I wish that many in influential positions would share the views you [Mayor Tau] have about the military as it is painful when the men and women who sacrifice their lives for the safety of this country are taken for granted,” said General Shoke.
“As army commanders, we sometimes assign our soldiers to places where we all know they may not come back, but they will fully oblige because of their love for this country,” General Shoke added.
Representing the SANDF Education Trust was its trustee, Mr Teddy Daka, who urged more South African leaders to show their appreciation of the Defense Force.
“Developed countries are very proud of their Defense Forces because they understand and appreciate the role they play in protecting their economy. What Mayor Tau has done is at the level that no other local city has come close to and we hope after today more cities will come on board,” Mr Daka said.
At the dinner Mayor Tau related his recent encounter of two wives of members of the SANDF, who are based at the Lenasia military base, during his recent community engagement visit in the area.
“The two women complained about not having houses and even pointed out that their husbands were away from home for months on the country’s business while they resided at a military base. They went
on to point out that when leaders make policies on housing, we forgot to include members of the Defense Force and their families. It is this outcry that makes today even more significant,” Mayor Tau said.
“This is the second consecutive year that the City of Johannesburg has been working with the SANDF. We often take it for granted that there are some South Africans whose career choices include a chance of death as they take-up arms to ensure that we live in peace. They further extend this commitment to serve other countries on the African continent,” he said.
“This is the kind of selflessness that must be appreciated by all South Africans,” he said.