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SANDF using drones to aid disaster relief efforts in KZN

Overview aerial photograph of Inanda area. Picture: Lieutenant Bafana Shepherd Mtshaise

Overview aerial photograph of Inanda area. Picture: Lieutenant Bafana Shepherd Mtshaise

Published May 23, 2022

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Durban - Members of the SANDF are using drones to aid relief efforts in KwaZulu-Natal, following April's heavy rains and flooding.

A reconnaissance team surverys one of the areas. Vehicles left by their owners after becoming stuck in the mud and sand. Picture: Lieutenant Bafana Shepherd Mtshaise

Captain Tshegofatso Gwai said the South African Army Intelligence Corps members, detached from the Engineer Squadron, under Joint Tactical Headquarters KwaZulu-Natal, are providing technological support to the operation through drones.

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An aerial photograph was taken in one of the flood-damaged areas. Picture: Lieutenant Bafana Shepherd Mtshaise

“Due to some areas being inaccessible because of the extensive damage caused by the floods and the province’s generally challenging terrain, drones have been brought in to help gather intelligence on damaged areas,” Gwai said.

A deployed drone taking off. Picture: Sergeant Mpho Ezekiel Rantlhoatlhoa

“The retrieved photographic data provides valuable information about what areas require support to the reconnaissance team and the collected data forms part of the assessment report, after which the engineers’ tasking is approved,” said Gwai.

The drone crew Lieutenant BS Mtshaise, Second Lieutenant WQ Meyers, Lance Corporal NT Raleie and Sergeant S Zwane from the South African Intelligence Corps, detached to the Engineer Squadron. Picture: Sergeant Mpho Ezekiel Rantlhoatlhoa

Gwai said that the drones were operated by an enthusiastic and dedicated crew, under the command of Lieutenant Bafana Shepherd Mtshaise.

Captain Makamba, the reconnaissance officer of the Engineer Squadron, together with the Drone Crew Second Lieutenant Meyers, and Sergeant Zwane. Picture: Sergeant Mpho Ezekiel Rantlhoatlhoa

“Drones reach mostly where most photographic lenses can’t reach. This is evident in how drone technology improves the livelihoods of many communities affected by floods,” Gwai said.

Sergeant Zwane operating the drone. Picture: Sergeant Mpho Ezekiel Rantlhoatlhoa

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