The SA Army Young Lions Skills Development Programme is an annual project initiated in 2009 by the Chief of the SA Army with the intention to promote amongst selected youth from various schools discipline, adventure, skills development and training, which will also support the annual Military Skills Development recruitment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Regiment De La Rey has been mandated by the SA Army Infantry Formation to conduct and coordinate the annual Young Lions Programme as one of its skills development projects. Regiment De La Rey has since initiated an outreach programme that encourages school going youth to join the SANDF and to identify youngsters with the right profile to become part of the rural development programme (Operation Koba-Tlala) or join the Military Skills Development System after they complete their grade 12.
During their visit to various military installations they were introduced to the life of a soldier. They also visited the South African Army Specialised Infantry Capability (SAASIC), where they were briefed on the roles and functions of SAASIC and Military Veterinary Institute and lastly visited 102 Field Workshop for general knowledge of heavy recovery trucks that loads tanks and tons of equipment’s and the rejuvenation of vehicles by Cubans technicians.
Young Lion Mathabo Jeanet Setshoho (16), from Promosa Secondary School, said: “it is a unique experience as we usually watch this on televisions; it is hard work but fun. This Young Lions programme teaches me discipline, respect and military knowledge to work as a team”.
Young Lion Theo Roos (17) from Ferdinand Postman said: “I feel very excited and honoured to have successfully completed the Young Lion Skills Development Programme; I have longed to see the capabilities of the SA Army, I had experience things I never thought I would go through in my life, on behalf of my fellow Young Lions, we thank the SANDF for initiating this prestigious skills development programme for the young people of South Africa”.