Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula used government’s designated Youth Month of June to beat the drum for careers in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
Since last year, the Minister has been at the forefront of various career expos the SANDF has taken part in and she has addressed university students and high school scholars at, among others, Louis Trichardt, Mafikeng and Port Elizabeth.
She told the Gauteng Careers, Jobs and Entrepreneurship expo in Johannesburg the Defence Ministry was “very mindful” that young people must be given the tools to improve their lives and positively shape the future.
“It is a responsibility that all of us, particularly those in leadership positions, cannot avoid and should take seriously.
“The Department of Defence is determined to place youth at the centre of its plans to create a highly professional, disciplined and technologically advanced defence force equipped to execute its core constitutional mandate and other assigned tasks.
“Last year Parliament approved the Defence Review which is a comprehensive policy blueprint for the defence force for the next 20 years. The recruitment into the defence force of young South Africans with great potential is critical to our efforts to have a military that efficiently and effectively serves the needs of the country and its people. We want to expose the work of the defence force and create awareness of the full range of its activities and its role in society as well as career opportunities that exist in its various components.”
She also told those present all fours arms of service – the SA Air Force, SA Army, SA Military Health Service and SA Navy – are in need of people trained in disciplines such as engineering, medicine, avionics, nautical sciences, computer science and finance, among others.
Mapisa-Nqakula also pointed out “acute budgetary constraints” as being a stumbling block to the number of people the SANDF can recruit but “we have arrangements with other government departments in the security cluster such as Correctional Services, Police, State Security and Home Affairs to absorb people trained by us”.