Military service for youth backed

2010-05-05 20:28

Johannesburg - The Young Communist League of SA has welcomed the possible re-introduction of military service for out of school youth.

"The Young Communist League of South Africa welcomes and applauds the highly anticipated decision by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, to formally propose to Parliament the military service for out of school youth," the League said in a statement on Wednesday.

The League's Gugu Ndima said Sisulu's decision was a victory for the youth who "remain hopeless and helpless".

It would also address some of the "social ills" in society.

"Military service will not be a panacea for all problems faced by young people in society but it can be utilised as an effective tool to address issues of unemployment, discipline, instilling patriotism and training young people within the Defence Force to be able to work in various sectors," Ndima said.

The League also expressed the hope that, through military service, more black people would be introduced to the military and join the defence force "as one of our concerns is the racial profile of the defence force".

Sisulu announced on Tuesday that her department was investigating the possibility of instituting military service for young people.

It would, however, not be compulsory as before 1994, but young people would be able to undergo the training on a voluntary basis.

Details of how and when it would be instituted were still vague.