Sisulu welcomes 4 255 new recruits
Pretoria - Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu welcomed 4 255 new recruits into the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) under the military skills development system (MSDS) in Pretoria on Sunday, a departmental spokesperson said.
"Of the total number 3 036 are joining the Army, 371 joining the SA Airforce, 460 to the SA Navy and 388 to the SA Military Health services," Ndivhuwo Mabaya said.
Sisulu spoke at the welcoming and send-off ceremony held at the Thaba Tshwane military sports ground and 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 in a statement.
She said graduates of the MSDS programme have become employees of choice in the maritime, aviation and other highly technical industries.
The MSDS programme was designed to rejuvenate and to bring new blood into the SANDF, also to provide young people with "highly technical skills required in highly specialised sectors".
Sisulu said since 2003 the SANDF trained 27 000 young people between the ages of 18 to 22 who were in the SANDF and some were in different sectors of society.
"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," Sisulu said.
The second intake would take place in June 2011.