The Minister of Defence and Military veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu says the military programme awaiting the 4463-strong 2010 intake of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will demonstrate that the military “can be a leader in innovation, skills development and job creation.”
She says all South Africans must be proud of the young people who have chosen the path to defend their country and build a safe and secure South Africa for all.
“Nothing is important than a young person who stand up and declare that they are willing to die for their own country, this is what this young people who are joining the SANDF have committed themselves to. I join the Commander-in-Chief in welcoming this brave young team into the SANDF, this is the best place for you to be” she said in a statement at the weekend.
The minister added that the South African Air Force (SAAF) will take 270 recruits, the South African Medical Health Services 400, the South African Navy 600 and the SA Army 3294.
“This young people from all provinces on completion of the basic military training will have the opportunity to build their career at the cost of the state, this will include pilots, all types of engineering, air traffic navigators, doctors, dentists, nurses, artillery, naval combat officers, divers and many other professions within the SANDF” Sisulu further added.
The minister continued that her vision for the SANDF is of a Defence Force that is able to contribute to scarce skills development by training graduates and releasing them to other sectors, job creation and playing a central role in addressing some of the social challenges affecting South Africans.
“In the SANDF we have all types of careers, it is important that we absorb young people and graduates, we can train them in different fields, and those we cannot take in the SANDF, they will join our reserve force whilst employed by other sectors, the military must be known as the centre of innovation and professional development” she said.
Sisulu noted that the intake will boost capacity shortage within the SANDF as the SANDF starts maintaining its own building in this financial year and making available its skills to municipalities and other sectors of the society to assist in project management and implementation.
The minister called on the class of 2010 to take pride of the SANDF code of conduct and work with her to build a defence force that is “loved and appreciated by all South Africans”. She also announced that the next intake for the SAAF and the Navy would be in July.
“We are convinced that next year we can absorb close to 10 000 graduates who will learn different skills, some we will keep in the SANDF some will go to municipalities and other sectors to contribute in building South Africa” she avered.
The Military Service Development System (MSDS) programme is the biggest beneficiary of the salary adjustments announced by President Jacob Zuma on December 16. Previously MSDS recruits were paid R2800 per month. Now they will earn R4300 per month in their first year and R5300 in the second.