Saldanha graduation parade for youth leadership recruits

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Being the smallest combat service in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) does not mean the SA Navy (SAN) shirks its duties to government’s National Development Plan (NDP), specifically its Youth Leadership Development Programme (YLDP).

This commitment saw 714 young men and women from across South Africa graduate from the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) YLDP, presented at SAS Saldanha, the SAN training facility on the west coast of the Western Cape province. The initiative is managed by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) with elements of the South African military including the SAN and the SA Army Engineer Formation contributing facilities and instructors.

An indication of the importance given to hosting the NARYSEC programme at Saldanha was the presence of SAN Chief, Vice Admiral Monde Lobese, at the December graduation/passing out parade. He told the parade the maritime service “stands ready to serve and protect our people. We are all proud and passionate patriots of our beloved country. I am confident that you will appreciate the positive influence the SA Navy had on these youth”.

Reporting on the December graduation parade at SAS Saldanha, SAN External Communication has it the focus of NARYSEC is to “capacitate rural youth with the necessary skills and knowledge that will empower them to become economically active and contribute towards uplifting their communities”.

On arrival at Saldanha, the then raw recruits were informed by the officer commanding, Captain (SAN) Berlinah Madonsela, they would acquire skills not easily forgotten. These included a modified form of basic military training (BMT) with the emphasis on discipline. On the training agenda were drill, leadership, seamanship and time management.

Now in its 13th year, NARYSEC was established with the aim of building capacity in South Africa’s rural youth by way of skills development and training. Ahead of this year’s intake just on 18 000 young men and women from all nine provinces did their time at military training facilities such as SAS Saldanha, 1 Construction Regiment at Dunnottar in the Gauteng province and 2 Field Engineer Regiment in the Free State province.