Orlando Pirates soccer club owner and 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Irvin Khoza says he supports the military skills development system (MSDS) as it is training a generation of disciplined young people.
Speaking on the fringes of last week’s SA Army exercise Young Eagle at De Brug near Bloemfontein the Department of Defence (DoD) Logistic Support Formation Headquarters Unit honorary colonel also encouraged employers to snap up MSDS cadres after their two year service period.
The DoD introduced the MSDS in 2003 to address its age and health profile that was rapidly deteriorating.
The DoD in its latest annual report says in 2002 just 7% of the SANDF`s privates and seamen were younger than 24 years. The report says the figure now exceeds 43% of the regular force and 51% of the total force.
“This has had a major impact upon the medical fitness and combat-readiness of members within this rank group, specifically within the SA Army.
“The MSDS remains the primary mechanism through which the Department contributes towards structured military skills development, as well as occupational-functional skills development and leadership development amongst the youth,” the report says.
The DoD has the ambition of training up to 10 000 youth a year but a tight budget has kept the number below 5000 to date.