Media Advisory: Executive Mayor to Grant 1st SA Infantry Battalion Freedom of Entry to the City

The Executive Mayor of Mangaung Metro, Cllr. Thabo Manyoni, cordially invites you to a military parade by 1 SA Infantry Battalion, where he will also bestow Freedom of Entry to the City of Bloemfontein to the battalion. The ceremonial handover of the scrolls by the Executive Mayor will take place as follows:

Date: Saturday, 03 October 2015
Time: 08H00
Venue: Bloemfontein City Hall

As part of the proceedings on Saturday, a military parade will be executed in front of the city hall and throughout the streets of Bloemfontein. The parade includes a guard of honour, marching columns and mechanised columns consisting of military vehicles.

Your media house is invited to the event.


The tradition to bestow the freedom of entry to a town or city dates back many years, when mayors of such towns or cities granted the right to a military unit, within its boundaries, to march through the town or city in grand style, as a show of their force or strength.
During these occasions the custom was for the military regiment to parade in front of the whole community with drums, trumpets and the like. This signified a gesture of gratitude by the local community to the armed forces for services of protection and development that it delivered to their city.  The mayor would proclaim, in front of all present, that he confers upon the unit the right, privilege and honour to parade through their city or town, with trumpets sounding, drums beating, swords drawn and bayonets fixed. This was expanded as the military became more mechanised after the industrial revolution, to include mechanised parades, meaning that the military may now also drive through the town or city, in addition to marching with guns, and colours flying.

The earliest recorded ceremony of this kind in South Africa, dates back to the time when the Durban Mounted Rifles, now called the Natal Mounted Rifles (NMR), was accorded the right and freedom to enter Durban on ceremonial occasions, in November 1878. This happened upon the regiment’s return to the city after it was sent of to war by its citizens earlier. The handing over of an illuminated scroll, with the words proclaiming the decision of the mayor and his council, which is then handed over to the Officer Commanding, also marks the occasion.

For more information contact:
Major Heidi Lubbe
Liaison Officer: SANDF
083 352 8262