Unabridged statement: isulu welcomes 4 255 new recruits into the South African Defence Force (SANDF)


9 Jan 2011
“Today I welcome you to the home of the brave, the home of discipline, the home of courage and above all the home of honour, welcome to the SANDF” Minister Sisulu

The Minister of Defence and Military, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu today welcomed 4 255 new recruits into the South African Defence Force (SANDF) under the Military Skills Development System (MSDS). The young men and women of the ages of 18 to 22 passed their Grade 12 examination in the year 2010. Of the total number 3 036 are joining the army, 371 joining the South African Airforce, 460 to the SA Navy and 388 to the South African Military Health services.

The young recruits will undergo military training and later join different careers in the SANDF. Some will become pilots, engineers and doctors of the SANDF. The SANDF has more than hundred careers for them to choose from depending on their medical status and pass marks.

Speaking at the welcoming and send off ceremony held at Thaba Tshwane Military Sports ground the Minister thanked the parents who accompanied their children on their first day in the SANDF.
“To the parents of the 4 255 young women and men who are starting their future here in the military, I say you have made the choice by allowing your child to be part of our family, we are a very unique family, we pride ourselves in discipline and commitment, we build tomorrow’s leaders, thank you very much, your children are now mine to turn into men and women” she said.

She added that they have chosen the best career where they can grow their potential.
“Here in the SANDF we grow tomorrow’s leaders, here we grow men and women who are proud of what they do, proud of their uniform and their country” she said.

The Minister added that on completion of the two year Military Skills Development Programme some of the graduates will remain in the SANDF, some will join the reserve force and many other will be absorbed by the private sector and other sectors of the community.
“Graduates of the MSDS programme have become employees of choice in the maritime, aviation and other highly technical industries. This is our contribution to the skills shortage of our country; we produce highly skilled people with military discipline and precision to fit in any industry”

The Minister said since 2003 the SANDF has trained 27 000 young people within the age of 18 to 22 who are in the SANDF and some are in different sectors of our society. The second intake would in June 2011.

The MSDS is the programme of the SANDF designed to rejuvenate to bring in new blood into the SANDF and also provide young people with highly technical skills required in highly specialised sectors.


Ndivhuwo Mabaya (Head of media services)

Cell: 083 645 7838

Issued by: Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans
9 Jan 2011