South African Navy Military Skills Development Programme 2021

The South African Navy is inviting young South African citizens an opportunity to apply for its Military Skills Development System and be able to serve in uniform.

As the South African National Defence Force’s naval warfare branch, the South African Navy prepares for and conducts naval operations in order to fulfill its mandate to defend South Africa and all its citizens and interests. In addition, the SAN carries out peacetime operations as part of its efforts in supporting other national objectives.

The South African Navy’s official origins go back to the founding of the SA Naval Service on 15 November 1921. Unofficial reports, however, suggest that the SAN dates further back to the establishment of the Natal Naval Volunteers in 1885, and the Cape Naval Volunteers  (in Cape Town) in 1905.

South African Navy Military Skills Development Programme

The Military Skills Development System, or MSDS, is a voluntary service system that seeks to equip and develop young South African citizens with the essential skills in order to be competitive in the open market outside the DoD. The MSD programme is the main source for the SA Navy of young people to serve in uniform.

Who should apply?

Applicants must meet these minimum requirements in order to be eligible to apply for the programme:

  • A citizen of South Africa (dual citizenship not allowed)
  • Must have no criminal record
  • Preferably single
  • Not area bound
  • Must comply with medical requirements
  • Does not have physical disabilities, fear of heights or suffering from claustrophobia

For Grade 12/Matric

  • Combat applicants between 18 and 22 years of age and have taken Level 4   Physical Science and Mathematics
  • Technical and Engineering applicants 18 to 22 must be Grade 12 graduates with Level 4 Physical Science and Mathematics for both subjects
  • Must be 18 to 22 Grade 12 graduates for support applicants
  • Grade 12 results from 2018 and earlier will not be accepted

For Graduates

  • 18 to 26 years of age Grade 12 graduates with a National Diploma, degree or N6 Mechanical, Electrical or Marine Engineering Trade Test Certificate
  • 18 to 26 Grade 12 graduates with National Diploma or Degree in Logistics or Human Resources


How do I apply?

Applicants who meet the minimum requirements of the position being applied for will need to download and fill out an application form. Also, be sure to prepare the following documents that need to be attached to and sent along with the fully accomplished application form.

  • Copy of South African ID
  • Copy of Grade 12 results from at least the academic year 2019
  • A short CV
  • Highest qualification attained

Download the application here.

Send your application form together with the necessary documents by post to:

Department of Defense
SA Navy Headquarters Recruitment Centre
Private Bag X104, Pretoria

Application Deadline?

All applications must be submitted by 29 February 2020. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Applicants who do not receive feedback until 31 October 2020 can consider their application as unsuccessful.

Contact Information

For further questions about this training programme, contact the SA Navy Recruitment Centre at (012) 339 4421/4252/4084.


  • How long will it take to complete the training programme?
    The training programme will run for a duration of 24 months.

Click here to view the South African Navy Military Skills Development Programme page.

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