Military Skills Development System (MSDS) | Western Cape Government

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Military Skills Development System (MSDS)

South African National Defence Force

If you want to follow a career in the military, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) offers young, fit and mentally strong citizens the chance to follow a military career by joining the Military Skills Development System (MSDS).  

Military Skills Development System (MSDS)

The Military Skills Development System (MSDS) is a two-year voluntary service system that allows young South African citizens to serve in uniform.

Successful MSDS candidates will receive basic military training, specific mustering and functional training in the first year and be utilised or deployed internally or externally in the second year of the MSDS.

After the 2 years, you will either continue as part of the Reserve Force or receive a contract offer to join the Regular Force.

What kind of training can you expect?

In the first 2 years of voluntary service, you can expect to receive the following training.

First Year of Military Skills Development Service

  • Basic military training and functional training.
  • Corps specific training.
  • Participation in practical military exercises.
  • Combat ready training exercises.
  • Selection of junior leaders.

Second Year of Military Skills Development Service

  • Junior leaders (Officers) are receiving leader group corps training.
  • Undergo Young Officers Formative training.
  • Selection of Officers to study at the Military Academy.
  • Focus on utilisation and deployment of Military Skills Development System troops.

More information

Military Skills Development System members will receive wages for the duration of their two-year full-time training and utilisation.

If you are interested in joining the Military Skills Development System, you can contact SANDF's Western Cape recruitment offices at 021 787 1144, or you can contact SANDF's head office at (012) 355 6999 or via email at

Requirements for the MSDS programme 

To qualify for the MSDS programme, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Be a South African citizen only. (No dual citizenship).
  • Grade 12 Applicants must be between the ages of 18 – 22 years.
  • Graduates and/or other Tertiary Qualification up to the age of 26 years.
  • Completed Grade 12 with (Average of 50% or level 4) (Mathematics and Science will be advantageous).
  • Admission Point Score (APS) of 17 excluded Life Orientation (LO).
  • Leadership potential.
  • Not to be area bound.
  • Have no criminal record or pending cases.
  • Comply with medical fitness requirements for the appointment (Minimum height Females 148cm, Males 155cm and Minimum weight Females 48kg, Males 52kg (Within average height/weight ratio.

How to apply

Applicants have to complete an application form for the army, navy or air force and submit it with the following certified documents:

  • Copy of ID,
  • copy of Grade 12 certificate/statement of results,
  • highest achieved qualifications (e.g. Degree, National Diploma or N6), and
  • a short CV.

Once your application form is completed, and all your documents have been certified, you can post it to:

SA Army HQ
Chief Directorate Army Corporate Services
Directorate Army Human Resource
Private Bag X 981
Pretoria 0001

Specific related enquiries can be directed to 012 339 5803/5781/5243. Further information can be obtained on,

You can also follow up on your application by contacting SANDF's human resources department on 012 339 5803/5781/5243 or via email:

Applications close on 29 February 2020. If you don’t from SANDF by 31 October 2020 please consider your application unsuccessful.

Note: Requirements to join the South African Air Force (SAAF)Navy (SAN) and the Military Health Service (SAMHS) may differ to that of the SA Army, please contact to SANDF to at 021 787 1144 to find out more.

Application forms: SA Army, SA Navy, SA Air Force pilots and engineers, SA Air Force technical support, and SA Military Health Services.


The content on this page was last updated on 28 January 2020