SANDF – How To Apply To South African National Defence Force

The South African National Defence Force SANDF has been in existence since 1912.  It has three service branches with its headquarters situated in Pretoria in South Africa. The South African National Defence is made up of the Armed Forces of the South African country with its commander appointed by the sitting president of the country.

The South African National Defence Force answers to the Ministry of Defence and equally to the Military Veterans of the Department of Defence. As of 2019, active sandf troops personnel were about 74,508 with 15,107 reserved personnel in 2014.

The South African National Defence is ranked as one of the strongest military forces in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the 2022 ranking, the South African National Defense Force has 72,000 active personnel and 15,000 reserve personnel.

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The Role of the South African National Defence Force

Defending South Africa against all external military aggression is the main role of the South African National Defence Force. However, there are other functions the South African National Defence performs as and when the need arises. For instance, the SANDF may be deployed with the SAPS to perform the following roles.

  1. To protect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the South African country
  2. To align itself to the purposes of promoting the socio-economic development of the country
  3. To provide services that aim to protect the lives, properties, and health of South Africans
  4. Generally, for services that seek to protect and uphold the laws and rules that govern South Africa

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Requirements To Apply to SANDF

To become a member of the South African National Defense Force, the applicant needs to meet some requirements. Here is the list of requirements needed;

  1. It will be in the best interest of the applicant to be a South African citizen. It should be noted that if the applicant is a dual citizen, their application will not be accepted unless they give it up
  2. The applicant should not have any criminal record, whether pending or otherwise
  3. If they applying with a Grade 12, they must be between the ages of 18 and 22 but if they are applying as a graduate, then they should not be more than 26 years, making sure their certificate is from a qualified university
  4. The applicant must be of sound mind and physically capable to undergo the training
  5. The applicant must state their marital status. If they are single, they will be given preferential treatment and consideration
  6. Applicants must make sure they are ready and willing to avail themselves of the training and also be ready to wear the military uniform

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How to Apply to SANDF

Interested persons who wish to be a part of the South African National Defence Force must make sure they first download the SANDF forms and fill in all blank spaces with the correct and appropriate answers only.

But before any of that happens, the applicants must make sure to have the following handy as they will come with the SANDF application forms.

  1. An identification card, a South African ID card
  2. A Certified Grade 12 results if applicable or an attestation of it in a case where the applicant has not received it at the time of their application
  3. An updated version of the applicant’s curriculum vitae
  4. Any other documents or certificates from a higher learning institution

To Apply;

  1. Visit
  2. Fill and complete all blank spaces on the form with the right answers only
  3. Proceed to submit after completing

Can You Apply to South African National Defence without Matric?

The South African National Defence Force is open to admission to all persons who are at the moment involved with their Grade 12 or have already passed their Grade 12.

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How Do I Join SANDF?

Joining the South African National Defence Force is not on a platter of gold but if an applicant can get in, there are several other career options to choose from and not just the military. Once an applicant is done with the submission of the forms and they are lucky to be chosen for the MSDS program, they go through phases of training.

In the first year of service, for example,  recruits will undergo several medical evaluations which are needed to ascertain that qualify for basic military and functional training. Following that, they will go through specific combat-ready and corp-specific training as well.

What is The MSDS?

The MSDS stands for the South African Military Skill Development System. The MSDS provides interested persons in the South African National Defence to serve for two years. This program aims at equipping persons with skills that will place their employability at a rather higher advantage. It also equips persons with important military skills and experiences. People who have an interest in applying for jobs in the South African National Defence Force later on.

To Qualify For The MSDS, you must be;

  1. A citizen of South Africa
  2. You must have not a criminal record
  3. You must be ideally single
  4. You must be of sound mind and health and ready for military training
  5. You must be between the ages of 18 years and 26 years
  6. You must currently be writing Grade 12 or must have completed it

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How Much Does South African National Defence Force Pay?

There are several careers under the SANDF but for this article, we are limiting it to the military. The salary for the average SANDF soldier is R12, 397 which reportedly is 17% above the national average.

Is Sandf Application Opened?

The South African National Defence Force opens its doors for interested persons to apply once every year. When the application is opened, it is published in the dailies for all and sundry qualified to apply. Reportedly, the application ends in February each year. Applicants who do not hear anything from South African National Defence up to October should bear in mind that their application was not successful.

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What Are The Benefits of Joining South African National Defence?

  1. SANDF makes it possible for individuals to serve their country thus the South African Country
  2. It also provides an avenue for individuals to be a part of a humanitarian movement, especially in the wake of natural disasters
  3. It makes it easier for individuals who have gone through the training to secure a permanent job
  4. It ensures that staff have access to an almost free or reduced means of transportation fare
  5. Individuals get the chance to acquire skill set and experience

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