Have you ever thought of joining the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) or asked yourself what career opportunities do they have available?
SANDF might not seem appealing to most young people for so many reasons, one might be the lack of knowledge and information regarding the variety of opportunities that the SANDF offers.
What is the SANDF?
The South African National Defence Force comprises of the armed forces of South Africa. Its mandate is to defend and protect the RSA, its territorial integrity, and its people in accordance with the constitution and the principles of international law regulating the use of force.
How to join the SANDF?
The SANDF reserve only releases applications to join the force once a year and this is published in various newspapers and career portals. As a reserve member, depending on the necessary requirements you may choose to serve in any of the following divisions:
- Air Defence Artillery
And support core functions:
You may join the South Africa Reserve Force Division, either through the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) (a two-year voluntary service system that allows young South African citizens to serve in uniform) or through direct recruitment which only applies to people with special skills such as IT specialists, diesel mechanics, and engineers.
To qualify for the MSDS programme you should meet the following requirements:
- Be a South African citizen.
- Be aged between 18 and 22 years (Graduates up to the age of 26 years).
- Be currently busy with the National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) or have completed it.
- Not be area bound.
- Have no record of a criminal offence.
- Be preferably single.
- Comply with medical fitness requirements for appointment in the South African National Defence Force.
- Be prepared to do Basic Military Training, Functional Training and to serve in uniform.
To join the army reserve through direct recruitment you will have to meet the following requirements:
- A South African citizen.
- Medically, mentally and battle fit.
- Between the ages of 18 and 26 years (the required age varies according to the category of training/service) when joining for the first time. This age restriction does not apply to applicants with professional or critical skill qualifications required.
- You must have the attributes and qualifications which are required for your training.
- You must be able to perform the service or duties attached to the post for which you apply.
- If you are employed, your employer must be willing to grant special leave for military activities within reasonable demands.
- Have no criminal record.
- Training is provided to new recruits but due to the nature of the system, longer courses are presented in shorter flexible modules.
- Other corps may require you to have existing qualifications in that specific field. For example, to join the Air Force Reserves an applicant must have aviation related expertise.
Benefits of joining SANDF?
Joining the SANDF gives you the opportunity to serve your country, and a chance to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need in times of natural or other disasters. Your expertise can help improve our country’s defensive needs and with the allowance to travel abroad.
Other benefits that many young people can take advantage of are:
- Free/subsidized access to public transport
- Skill acquisition and education support
- Job placement
- Burial support
These opportunities can help you kick start your career and earn a living whilst doing good for our beautiful country South Africa.
When you are done with your service, you become a veteran, which comes with opportunities of getting military pension; housing; free access to military health services; free/subsidised access to public transport; skills acquisition and education support; job placement.
The 2022 MSDS applications have already closed so, you can check early next year for 2023 applications. You may also check SAGovJobs for career opportunities available at the SANDF.