With five provinces canvassed for University Reserve Training programme (URTP) volunteers, the Reserve Force next month moves into KwaZulu-Natal hoping for results similar to those in Gauteng and North West.
The whistle stop tour of tertiary institutions including the universities of Johannesburg, North West (Potchefstroom campus) and the Tshwane University of Technology saw the SA Army and SA Military Health Services sign up more than 900 URTP volunteers.
Representatives from the same two arms of service will be in KwaZulu-Natal from April 7 to 11 hoping for a similar response from students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Zululand and the Durban University of Technology.
Colonel Monica Muller SSO Reserve Force said students at these places of higher learning who were keen on becoming part of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Reserve Force should attend presentations on their campuses after which they would have the opportunity to speak to recruitment officers for more details.
Since it commended in 2011 the UTRP has been rolled out at 11 campuses in five of the country nine provinces to attract graduates to become members of South Africa’s part-time military component with particular emphasis on scarce skills. These include various engineering and medical disciplines necessary to bring the SANDF up to speed in technology terms.
To date URTP has boosted Reserve Force junior officer numbers by 153, all of whom bring specialist skills as well as leadership qualities to the SANDF’s part-time component.
Speaking during a meeting with URTP volunteers doing part of their basic military training (BMT) at Regiment Mooirivier in Potchefstroom in December, Brigadier General Debbie Molefe, Director: Defence Reserves told them their training and subsequent utilisation would benefit the SANDF for the next 45 years.
“You, as graduates and under graduates, will enhance the professional, intellectual and leadership qualities of the Reserves,” she said adding the military skills acquired during URTP would stand the volunteers in good stead in their civilian careers.
“In the military environment teamwork is essential and students will develop a sense of responsibility and respect towards fellow members in the group. This will not only develop their social interaction capabilities, but will also facilitate their induction into new career environments,” Molefe said.