RDM upskilling 100 military veterans a year


Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) is providing up to 100 military veterans a year with skills they can use to create livelihoods for themselves.

The company has military veterans development programmes in Polokwane and East London and has to date provided nearly 460 military veterans with plumbing, welding, electrical, painting, and plastering skills in the five years the initiative has been running. RDM has also helped veterans get their driver’s licenses, and provided integrated business skills.

Other training opportunities are also being explored and RDM aims to continue empowering up to 100 new military veterans annually.

“They [Military Veterans] are an invaluable element in the defence sector now as much as they were during their days of active service,” stated Human Resources General Manage Dudu Letseli. “RDM, therefore, aims to support the heroes of armed forces by encouraging them to fight for their dreams, just as ardently as they fought for ours.”

“As a member of the defence community, RDM aims to demonstrate that second chances are more than just a courtesy but an ignitor of brighter prospects for those who had a hand in providing freedom for our future,” stated Jan-Patrick Helmsen, CEO of Rheinmetall Denel Munition.

Since the existing joint venture began in 2008, when Rheinmetall Waffe Munition bought a controlling share in Denel Munition and formed Rheinmetall Denel Munition, the company has invested R1 billion in infrastructure, R1.5 billion in technology and product development, R200 million in training and bursaries, and R100 million in skills development levies.

Various social upliftment projects have been initiated over the years, such as the Bundles of Joy childcare centre that opened in September 2020 across from RDM’s headquarters in Somerset West. In 2016, Rheinmetall Denel Munition adopted Sonyongwana High School in rural KwaZulu Natal, greatly improving its infrastructure, tutoring learners and getting the school’s pass rate up. In 2018, the company donated 920 bicycles to the learners and also equipped a maintenance workshop in the local community to keep the bikes going.

RDM has made donations to various universities across South Africa for Black Engineering students who were owing fees at the end of the year. The RDM Academy recruits 15 of the best graduates from Universities across South Africa and forges them in a paid internship programme for a period of one year.