Project Koba-Tlala delivering skills training


In its original guise the intent of Project Koba-Tlala was to provide fresh produce to military messes and work for Reserves not on active duty.

It has spread its wings, with re- and upskilling in sectors such as community development, facilitation and liaison as well as security, with the original target of agriculture still in the frame.

The project is endorsed and supported by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and is seen as part of the South African military machine’s contribution to the National Development Plan (NDP).

According to Lieutenant Colonel Philip Coetzer, Project Koba-Tlala strategy and planning officer, reskilling of Reserves enjoys a high priority in the Updated Reserve Force Service System (URFSS). This is because for many Reserves their only employment is when they are called up.

One of the driving tenets of Koba-Tlala is to equip Reserve Force members with occupational skills to enable them to contribute to their own communities and ultimately the country.

In response to a shortage of community development workers, government embarked on a number of initiatives. One of these is the National Human Resource Development Strategy aimed at supplying properly trained people to respond to socio-economic needs. This, Coetzer said, could pave the way for a socio-economic capability in the just approved URFSS.

It has already seen 213 Reserve Force members from 10 units in North West, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Gauteng complete SAQA (SA Qualifications Authority) accredited training.

Military security, counter intelligence, protection of units, training of protection elements and effective supervision will always be priorities in the military. Several civilian security management and supervision job opportunities are available for properly trained Reserve members. Based on this and identified opportunities, a Director Army Reserves pilot project was initiated through short SASSETA (Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority) accredited skills programmes. SETA-funded skills development forms part of external education, training, and development (ETD) in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). The SASSETA security training focuses on asset protection, access control and patrol protection elements all contributing to enhanced security.

Two hundred Reserve Force members from units in Eastern Cape and North West took part in this reskilling this year.

An accredited service provider recently presented the first Koba-Tlala agri-related training to 30 Reserves with the emphasis on basic livestock and plant production.

All told 473 Reserves have been exposed to SAQA accredited reskilling training in the first 10 months of 2018 in addition to other specialist training.