MSD 2022 intake to report for duty in March

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Come Friday (4 March), just on two thousand new recruits will have their first taste of life in the military when they report for two years’ duty as Military Skills Development (MSD) personnel.

They were selected from thousands of young South African men and women who applied to enlist in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) by way of the MSD system, the force’s contribution to government’s national development plan 2030. This is government’s blueprint to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.

The MSD system is now in its 19th year and the 2022 intake will be the last annual one for at least the foreseeable future. Budget constraints will see future MSD intakes once every two years. During its first years there were two intakes a year with former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota at one stage saying he would seek extra funding for the MSD system from the Department of Education. This was an unsuccessful attempt to boost defence spend during his 1999/2008 term of office.

From twice-a-year intakes totalling around five thousand each, the MSD system will this year see 1 997 new recruits in total reporting for duty.

They will, according to Brigadier General Annerie Wiese, Director: Human Resources, Acquisition, report at five bases in three provinces for two weeks of administration followed by basic military training (BMT) at five units.

Paperwork and quartermaster issues will be dealt with in the Western Cape at Infantry School in Oudtshoorn for SA Army combat and combat support corps recruits and SAS Saldanha, in Saldanha, for SA Navy (SAN) recruits. Air Force Base (AFB) Swartkop West, the former SA Air Force (SAAF) Gymnasium and the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) Training Formation in Gauteng will process Air Force and Military Health recruits.

Basic military training will see the lion’s share of the 2022 MSD intake – 1 350 – start training at Infantry School and 3 SA Infantry (SAI) Battalion in Kimberley, Northern Cape, with the airborne service’s allocation of 227 training at the SAAF Gymnasium, adjacent to AFB Hoedspruit in Limpopo. The 270 strong maritime recruit allocation will be based at SAS Saldanha on the Cape West Coast and 150 SAMHS MSD recruits will do BMT at the medics training formation in Thaba Tshwane.