SA Army Reserves: Overview
Chief Directorate SA Army Reserves is a
specialist advisor to Chief of the SA Army and
his staff in all reserve related issues.
To give specialist advice to Chief of the SA
Army and his staff in all reserve related issues
thereby ensuring that the SA Army trains and
prepares a sustainable and deployable reserve.
SA Army Reserves Structure
Telephone: 27 12 355 1150
Chief Directorate SA Army Reserves
Private Bag X981
SA Army Reserves
system of the South African Army is voluntary
and part-time. The system therefore requires
that someone who joint it must do so on a
voluntary basis. To put the system into
perspective, commonly asked questions will be
Why Reserves? Both the White
Paper on Defence and the Defence Review state
that "The SA National Defence Force will
comprise a sufficiently large Reserves system and
a small Regular Force". On the basis of this
Government imperative, the SA Army is made out
of these two components. Furthermore the growing
need of the SA National Defence Force to
participate in the Defence of the country as
well as Peace Support Operation requires that:
- Strong, coherent and sustainable
Reserves be trained and prepared to
participate in any mission on its own or
alongside the Regular Force.
- Reserves be trained and prepared
to assist the Regular Force in defending the
country and its citizens against any type of
aggression internal or external.
Who May Join the Reserves? Any
Military Skills Development System (MSDS)
member, after the completion of the 2 years
contract in the Regular Force of any person with
the required specialist skills may volunteer
join the Reserves provided that he/she:
- Medically, mentally and battle fit.
- Is at least 18 years and not older than
60 years in case of SA Army Conventional
- Has a record of good conduct.
- Is prepared to serve on a voluntary
- Is prepared to undergo training as
- Has at least a matric/grade 12.
How to Join the Reserves? There
are currently two methods through which one can
join the Reserves. It can be done through
the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) or
direct recruitment. Details of the two methods
are as follows:
- Joining the Reserves Through the MSDS. This system requires one to first
complete a two year contract in the Regular
Force where after one will required to
voluntarily sign a five years contract with
the Reserves which can be extended
until the age of 65 years.
- Direct Recruitment. This method
is only applicable to people with special
skills (eg Motor and Diesel Mechanics, IT
specialists, Chefs etc).
What Type of Training are Reserve
Members Expected to Undergo? Members of the
Reserves receive similar training as their
counter-parts (Regulars) but due to the nature
of the system, longer courses are modularised.
How Does One Serve in the Reserves?
A need to serve is determined by the
Organisation. Once such a need exists, the
organisation will call-up a member of the
Reserves to come and serve for a specific
time period determined by the length of the
mission. There are two conditions for calling up
a Reserve member:
- Continuous Basis. This call-up includes
weekend and public holidays.
- Non-Continuous Basis. The call-up
excludes weekend and public holidays.
What are the Benefits of Serving in the
- It is an opportunity to make a
contribution to the safety of the Republic
of South Africa.
- It helps develop your leadership and
management skills to their full potential.
- It helps on to fulfill her or his sense
- It provides one with an opportunity to
experience the benefit of a military life.
In Which Corps Can a Reserve Member
Serve? A Reserve member may choose to
serve in any of the following corps and support
- Air Defence Artillery
- Support functions:
What are the Service Benefits Available to
the Reserve Members? Serving members
of the Reserves are entitled to all
benefits that are applicable to Regular Force
members. These benefits include:
- Remuneration (Salary)
- Medical Benefits
- Access to all SA National Defence Sports
and Recreation Facilities.