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Unemployed youth should join the army: Zuma

By Nathi Olifant | 2017-02-21 13:26:25.0

SANDF army parading in the streets of Mthatha after the 14 South African Infantry Batalion was bestowed the Freedom  of Mthatha by the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality on Saturday. Picture Credit: LULAMILE FENI

Faced with increasing levels of youth unemployment in the country‚ President Jacob Zuma used the Armed Forces Day held in Durban to fire home the need for young people can grab career opportunities in the military.

Addressing the Armed Forced Day celebrations at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday‚ Zuma said that‚ through the Military Skills Development System‚ the South African National Defence Force has continued to recruit healthy and fit young people to its ranks.

“They can be artisans‚ doctors‚ nurses‚ engineers and whatever they want to be within the armed forces.

“Over the past three years‚ the SANDF has recruited over 11‚000 young people into the ranks of the defence force‚” said Zuma.

The SANDF also advances its career opportunities by supporting other government departments in their community development work‚ he said.

“The SANDF has trained 6‚000 students who are part of the National Rural Youth Service Corps on behalf of the [department of] rural development and land reform. The leadership development programme is designed to expose youth in rural areas to discipline‚ community development‚ leadership and critical life skills training‚” he said.

In a state of the nation-styled speech‚ Zuma said a similar programme with the department of social development has also been supported by the SANDF through training.

“The SANDF‚ in partnership with the province of the North West‚ has launched a youth agriculture pilot project in the areas where the Defence Force has its foot print. This is but one example of community upliftment projects that our armed forces are involved in‚” he said.

Zuma heaped praise on the contribution of the SANDF when there are disasters like floods or fires such as the fires that engulfed the Western Cape over a long period.

“As we speak‚ the South African National Defence Force has been involved in Disaster Management in the wake of Cyclone Dineo. An Oryx Helicopter is on standby at Air Forces Base Hoedspruit to cover both Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces with some operational members deployed at the Provincial Joint Centre in Mpumalanga‚” he said.


- TMG Digital