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Military Academy on 11 day endurance race for charity
Author: Corporate Communications Division
Published: 20/11/2018

​​To pay homage to former president Nelson Mandela and “Ma" Albertina Sisulu, who were both born a 100 years ago, the Military Academy at Saldanha, will this year kick off their annual endurance race from Qunu in the Eastern Cape – the village Nelson Mandela grew up in.

The Military Academy houses the Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University (SU).

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 Girl Child and early childhood development. Students collected sanitary products and will hand these out at certain schools along the way.

Thuma Mina

The theme of TRANS ENDURO 2018 is “Thuma mina" (Send me) – in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa's call during his inaugural State of the Nation address in parliament on 16 February 2018 for South Africans to “accept the call to selflessly serve the embattled nation".

“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 11 days, staying over in towns along the way.

While the cycling team covers a certain distance on bicycles, 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 a distance of 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:


S/NrDateMunicipality Venue for OpeningStarting Time
01Tue 27 Nov 18King Sabata Dalindyebo (Qunu)Nelson Mandela Museum (Qunu)07:30
02Wed 28 Nov 18Buffalo City (East London)Orion Beach Resort; Esplanade St08:00
03Fri 30 Nov 18.Nelson Mandela Bay (PE)Hobie Beach; Summerstrand07:30
04Sat 01 Dec 18.Kouga (Jeffrey's Bay)Main Beach; Diaz Rd07:30
05Mon 03 Dec 18Bitou (Plettenberg Bay)Central Beach; Hopewood Rd07:30
06Tue 04 Dec 18GeorgeSt George Square; Knysna Rd07:30
07Wed 05 Dec 18Hessequa (Stilbaai) Stilbaai Harbour; Main Rd07:30
08Thu 06 Dec 18Cape Agulhas (Struisbaai)Struisbaai Harbour; Harbour Rd07:30
09Fri 07 Dec 18Overstrand (Hermanus)New Harbour07:30
10Sat 08 Dec 18City of Cape Town (Hout Bay)Slipway Old Harbour, Hout Bay07:30


Sat 08 Dec 18

Saldanha Bay

Saldanha Harbor

Main Road

  • Liaise with Major Herklaas Jantjies at 074 793 7740 for more information.



Exercise Trans Enduro's existence can be traced back to approximately 33 years ago, when a group of Military Academy students organised an adventure race from Port Elizabeth to Saldanha. 

The Race was conducted through the use of 2 inflatable rubber ducks, and it roughly followed the route of the Trans Agulhas adventure race.

Through the years it changed and students used this opportunity to collect money along the route as part of the competition for the “Smoeg" trophy at Stellenbosch and all the money went to Maties Community Service.

A cycling component was introduced in 1998 that cycles the route along the N2.

The community services team was introduced in 2002 and the focus shifted from collecting money to doing community service along the road. The running team was introduced in 2014.

In 2018, as part of the centenary celebrations of the late President Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu the starting point will be in Qunu, the birth place of Nelson Mandela.