The Untold Struggle behind the SANDF Reserve Members
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Minister of the South African National Defence Force.
These are the many complains, concerns and what could be solutions to the problems and struggling that thousands of reserve force members have been facing and are still facing within the Department of Defence.
In this context the term 'reserve force" refers to the youth that joined and trained under the MSDS (Military Skills Develepment System) programme and was rejected after two years with reasons and others without reasons, it refers to members that joined the Department as reserves and all members who took their pension packages, left the regular force system to join the reserve system.
The purpose of the MSDS programme has never been clear and really needs to be revised because the Defense Force recruits and trains the youth each and every year with skills that can only be utilized within the DOD using the requested budget only to absorb a number that is even less than half the members that were recruited and than the rest they reject (terminate their contracts) and send back home. During the annual budget speech the Defence representative speaks about job creation and giving skills to the youth. This is not a complete truth. Training people and rejecting them after training is not creating jobs. IT IS JUST A COMPLETE ACT OF INHUMANITY!
The Reserve Force System does also needs to be well revised. Here are our grievances regarding the corrupt system of the reserve force:
1). Reserves do have specific working procedures which are not followed.
2). We are not permanent soldiers but the reserve budget keeps on being cut almost each and every year. If the budget is cut, how are we suppose to function as the system?
3). There is Internal and External deployment on the other hand where you find regular force members leaving their known post to occupy deployment posts where as there is a a large number of reserve soldiers that are stuck home with no jobs.
4). There are reserves that have been working under continuous contracts and those reserves have the same training, skills and courses as the rest of the reserves that have never been on duty or call up for years. What is the criteria and procedures that the Department is using to appoint or give continuous contracts?
5). Reserve forces are not entitled to medicals(Consultations at the Sick Bay/ Health Facilities) when they are not on call up or duty and they are not entitled to state Funerals. We are all soldiers, serving one Department. We wear the same uniform, we did the same training and we are being discriminated against by the same system that rejected us because of their own mistake of recruiting more than the number they need. This is killing us as the youth! There are reserves who cannot have access to SASSA grant, Bursaries, Internships, Learnerships because on the system they appear as people with occupation or they appear as people who are Working.
Labour Relation 66 of 1995 doesn't protect uniform members of SANDF but we are protected by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa for fair labour practices so are the South African National Defence Force reserve members. We would like to see these changes in the Department by requesting or demanding following relief sought:
1). We would like to be given 15 days in and 15 days out each month which is 180 days each year which is fair for everyone in the system. If members have not been called up for the whole month we demand an amount of 7500 granted as payment regardless of ranks and services.
2). The DoD to grant reserve members access to Military Health Facilities whether on duty or not on duty.
3). DoD to provide us reserve force members with state funerals as we want to be buried with respect and dignity like core service system members.
4). DoD to provide us reserve force members with pension funds like core service system as we do the same jobs and serving The same Department.
5). The reserve budget needs not to be cut at all for a fair system as the Department doesn't cut core service system budget. We want fair treatment as soldiers and we have families like those who are working on fixed term contracts.
6). The Minister of Defense once announced on the budget speech that "deployment is opened for reserves and that her soldiers will work" We believe that deployment must be given to all reserves then there will be no soldiers left to struggle at home.
7). There should be no members who are able to work for more than three years while there are members who are stuck at home with the same skills needed in the organisation. This is happening and it is not acceptable. There must be a rotation amongst us soldiers. That is helping one another.
8). The DoD must stop recruiting a large number of people to join the Department thereafter reject them from the system and have them unemployed again. They must recruit the number they need and they must also give people certificates(upgraded MSDS certificate and other various course certificate) which are valuable not certificates that can only be used in the DoD or certificates that are beneficial to this Specif Department.
9). There must be a certain number of reserve force members who are going to deal with call up instructions because the system only benefits certain people on this so called "call up system" and others get call ups through corruption practices.
10). As the Commander in Chief of South African National Defence Force has not approved Defence Special Tribunal since the year 2001, We would like him to approve it because soldiers are suffering in this corrupt system of reserves.
On submission of this petition, We request a response from the Commander in Chief in 30 working days. Submission date being the 30th of January 2018 and date that we request response being the 29th of February 2018.
To Communicate with, please contact the following members of the Committe:
a). Miss NB Mtoti
Cell No: 078 232 4785
b). Mr A. Nyamela
Cell No: 076 495 0325
c). Miss V. Khanyi
Cell No: 078 244 6044
From: The South African National Defence Reserve Force Members.
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