Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
4 minute read
10 Feb 2021
5:01 am

SANDF blames Covid-19 impact as recruitment programme gets halted

Marizka Coetzer

‘Lack of money to retire old soldiers means what’s left is simply not to recruit.’

A cat runs away as members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) patrol the streets of the Johannesburg CBD, 1 April 2020, during a nationwide lockdown. South Africa's lockdown imposes strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Picture: Michel Bega

Despite the fact its ranks are dominated by the old and the unfit and its fighting units are understrength, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has called a halt to intakes of new recruits. This is despite a heightening situation of tension on SA’s border with Mozambique, where Islamic jihadists are engaged in an insurgent war against the government. The SANDF announced this week that no new intakes for the annual 2021-2022 Military Skills Development System (MSDS) would be accepted. The military blamed the Covid-19 situation. At the same time, it warned potential recruits that application forms for the programme...