Local News/ 25 October 2019, 18:45pm/ The Insider Reporter
Members of South African Defence Force, during the ceremony: Image supplied
Kroonstaad: 2019 marks over 40 years since the City of Kroonstad (Now Moqhaka Local Municipality) had granted Freedom of Entry to the School of Engineers of South African National Defence Force.
The Executive Mayor Cllr Lucky Phooko granted School of Engineers, Freedom of Entry to the City on 25 October 2019 in Kroonstad.
Speaking to The Insider Phooko said: “The Freedom of Entry to the City is an honour conferred by the Local Government upon a military unit, authorising that unit the privilege of marching through the streets of the city on a ceremonial occasion with swords or weapons drawn, drums beating, and the unit colours flying. The honour is usually bestowed upon local regiments, in recognition of their dedicated service.”
After moving from Roberts Heights to Potchefstroom, and subsequent changes in names, the School of Engineers ultimately found a home in Kroonstad when it moved from Potchefstroom in 1968.
The movement was accompanied with a name change from Engineer Training Wing to School of Engineers in 1972, the name that is still in use today.
Freedom of Entry to the City of Kroonstad was awarded to the School of Engineers on 13 October 1976 by the then Mayor, Honourable Councillor Mr A. De Waal.
The original Freedom of Entry to the City of Kroonstad was awarded to the School of Engineers, thereafter; the following units also received the Freedom of Entry to the town of Kroonstad:
a. 35 Engineer Support Regiment.
b. Regiment de Wet renamed as Chief Albert Luthuli Regiment.
Since then, the event has been held intermittently every two years in celebration of this prestigious occasion.
Phooko added that the year 2019 for the School of Engineers not only celebrated the Freedom of Entry to the City of Kroonstad on 25 October 2019 but also 50 years since its existence in the city of Kroonstad which made the celebration more joyous and boastful.