South African Air Force

South African Air Force

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Careers in the Department of Defence

 The Department of Defence employ young, fit and healthy candidates who are Citizens of the Republic of South Africa.   New members will serve for a two-year period to augment the SANDF’s deployment capability.  At the expiring of the two-year term contract, the majority of each intake will be channeled into the SA National Defence Force and the rest to the Reserve Force.  Only the best of the best will be selected for continued service in the SA National Defence Force.

So when do I apply?

Recruitment of prospective SAAF student pilots and navigators is an annual process. The process is initiated by advertisements in the Sunday Times, Rapport and City Press around February each year. A closing date is given. No applications are processed prior to the closing date i.e., if you apply in January, your application will be held over and processed as part of the annual batch. There are no exceptions unless a special drive for affirmative action candidates is required. 

The process followed after closing date involves the initial sifting of anything up to five thousand applications. Here the chancers are eliminated, as are job seekers, and those who do not meet the criteria called for in the advert or application form, eg no maths or science, overweight, no matric, not SA citizens, etc. The next step are those identified for initial psychometric tests. The potential candidate is contacted for the first time and told to report for these tests and others. The streaming process continues, tests, interviews, initial selection and aviation medical until the final thirty candidates (dependant on SAAF requirement) are selected.

Please note that the above is a summary of the selection process which and can take over a year. For example, the 2018 year application process should commence at the 2018 closing date, the selection process in 2019, the Basic Military Training and SAAF orientation courses 2020 and flying 2021. Scholars are encouraged to apply in the Grade 11 year with selection during the Grade 12 year. The successful candidate will then join the SAAF straight from school.

Why wait till the next recruitment drive?

Instead of waiting for the advert to appear, you could also send your CV to the SAAF now. They should keep it on file until the next recruitment drive.

Suggested items to include in your CV include:

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Telephone numbers
  • ID number
  • Marital status
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Contact details
  • Whether you want to be a pilot or navigator
  • Current tertiary level
  • Subjects, symbols and HG/SG/other
  • A copy of your ID book
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