There was no military skills development (MSD) intake this year due to widespread issues around preventing and limiting the spread of COVID-19. These have been overcome by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to the extent it wants young South Africans to volunteer for military training with a January 2022 report for duty date.
This reinforces what Vice Admiral Asiel Kubu, national defence force senior human resources director, told the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) in February. Committee members heard there would not be a current year (2021) intake with the coronavirus pandemic and government’s national state of disaster contributing to no public call for volunteers.
PCDMV Chairman Cyril Xaba’s committee also heard, as part of cost saving measures in particularly the SANDF human resource component, consideration will be given to MSD intakes once every two years. A presentation by Kubu had it “the next MSD intake is planned for January 2022 followed by January 2024”.
That has come to pass and a limited time frame for applications – closing date is seven weeks away from today, on 30 July – means those looking to the military and its numerous work and career options have to double-time, in drill parlance.
The MSD system takes up to 2 000 volunteers into either the SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Army, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) or SA Navy (SAN) for two years. Basic military training is first up followed by specialist mustering training, dependent on service and then deployment to a division, unit or base.
When the 24 month MSD period is up, a limited number of MSD volunteers will be offered short-term contracts in the full-time force (usually for 10 years) with the remainder expected to put their military skills to use in the Reserve Force.
Regional recruitment offices nationally open to accept completed application forms on Thursday (17 June). Aware how susceptible those desperately seeking work are to scammers, the SANDF makes it clear MSD application forms are not for sale. This is in line with an oft-stated commitment to not asking potential employees to pay a fee of any sort.
Volunteers hoping to become part of either the air, land, maritime or military health services should go to regional offices nationally for application forms and assistance from SANDF human resource officers and personnel. They are:
Army Support Base Bloemfontein, Recruitment Office, Pappa Brits Street, Tempe tel: 051 402 1262
Castle of Good Hope Recruitment Office Block C, corner Buiten and Strand streets tel: 021 787 1023/4
Limpopo Army Support Recruitment Office, Building T143, Gate way Road Polokwane tel: 015 299 3318
Recruitment Office, 5 DLI Avenue, Greyville, Durban tel: 031 451 1738
Army Support Base, Recruitment Office, Willow Drive, Forest Hill, Port Elizabeth tel: 041 505 1101
Army Support Base Recruitment Office Kimberley, General Khan van der Spuy Avenue, Diskobolos, Kimberley tel: 053 830 3204
North West Army Support Base Recruitment Office corner Grobler St and Eleazer Road, Potchefstroom tel: 018 289 3322
Gauteng Recruitment Office corner Visagie and Paul Kruger streets Pretoria tel: 012 339 5718.
There is no recruitment office listed for the SANDF in Mpumalanga.
In addition to advertising general posts in the airborne service, a SAAF specific MSD advertisement is looking for those planning on military careers as pilots, navigator, engineers and “technical” positions.
The maritime service, in addition to “technical” positions, seeks young men and women planning on making a mark as combat officers, submariners and divers.