Ngwanase - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is to spend R200 million during the 2009/2010 financial year for the recruitment of young South Africans.
According to SANDF, the budget will be used to increase the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) recruits to 10 000 for the January 2010 intake.
Addressing Grade 11 and 12 students at a MSDS Career Exhibition in the Ngwanase area in KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday, Director of Communication at the office of the Minister of Defence, Sam Mkhwanazi said the department has put aside millions to train young South Africans who are enthusiastic to join the country's defence force.
He said in order to ensure that the department meets their target of recruiting 10 000 youth, the department will be embarking on a recruitment drive to attract deserving and qualifying youth to join the SANDF.
"The department will be visiting different provinces in the country, with the aim to showcase the job opportunities that are available within the defence and encourage the youth to join the force," said Mr Mkhwanazi.
One of the Grade 12 students, who attended the exhibition, Nomandla Zikode said it was an eye opener because she was not aware that there were so many career choices that were available within the defence force.
"We were not exposed to such information, especially from the rural areas. I always thought that if a person joins the SANDF, he or she would be an officer, however, now I know that there are many different job opportunities available.
She said she was going to apply to become a nurse at the SANDF as there were many health professions available.
During the MSDS career exhibition, the students received information about jobs available at the SANDF such as medical practitioners, health professionals, pilot training, engineers, navigators, navy combat officers among others.
Mr Mkhwanazi said the main objective of the MSDS was to rejuvenate the SANDF and serve as a feeder system for the Reserve Force.
"Most of all we want to encourage youngsters to join the SANDF and love their country. They can learn respect in the programme. I urged them to take this opportunity," said Mr Mkhwanazi.
The department said it was proud to offer this service system to the South African youth with the purpose of promoting and enhancing the concept of nation building.
The department stated that before the students are channelled to their choice of careers within the SANDF, they need to first obtain the basic military training.