Reference          A:         The Constitution of the RSA , 1996 (No 108 of 1996).

B:         SAQA Act, 1995 (No 58 of 1995).DOD Philosophy for Education, Training and Development

C:         Code of Conduct for the Public Service Government Gazette R5497 Chapter M

D:         Agreement between the University of Stellenbosch and the Military Academy (as Amended)

E:         Yearbook of the University of Stellenbosch Part 14:  Faculty Military Science

F:         Joint Training Implementation Instruction on the Management of the Military Academy:  Trg No 9/2001

G:         Military Academy Homepage:


Appendix           A:         Organogram

                        B:         Student Demography since 1994






1.         The DOD may be requested to provide any relevant information on the Department’s function to the parliamentary committees on defence.  As part of the Portfolio Committee’s programme for 2001, the Military Academy is now required to make such a submission on the unit’s business.


2.         This staff paper is therefore prepared as the written presentation for the said committee, where it will serve as the foundation of a verbal briefing by the Commandant Military Academy on 06 November 2001.




3.         The Military Academy was established on 1 April 1950 under the auspices of the University of Pretoria and as a branch of the SA Military College (now SA Army College), Voortrekkerhoogte (now Thaba Tshwane).  The purpose of the establishment was to place the education of Permanent Force cadets on Baccalareus level.  In addition to education, the cadets were also subject to military training by the SA Military College.  In 1953 the Military Academy was moved to Saldanha, where the Academy enjoys the patronage of the University of Stellenbosch.  The purpose of the move was to facilitate the participation of Naval learners[1] in the Academy’s programmes in order to enhance jointness among the Services.


4.         The headquarters of the Military Academy moved to Saldanha in December 1957, where the first second- and third-year learners reported in February 1958.  In January 1961, the Academy became a fully-fledged faculty of the University of Stellenbosch, as the Faculty of Military Science.  Although the Academy had to adapt to prevailing demands a number of times, these are no longer sufficient to accommodate the post-1994 realities.  To remain viable in a changing DOD the management of the Academy required transformation, the essence of which is contained in this staff paper. 




5.         The aim of this staff paper is to provide an overview of the Military Academy’s current business. 




6.         The staff paper will commence by describing the Military Academy’s mandate and core business and thereafter providing an outline of the unit’s outputs and annual throughput.  Some attention will be given to the factors that address quality assurance and the systems of evaluation, after which the paper will conclude with a selection of issues to be encountered in the near future.






7.         The Military Academy acquires its mandate from a number of statutory prescriptions, commencing with the general provisions of the Constitution (Reference A) and ending with the specific DOD instruction dealing with its management (Reference F).  The latter instruction gave execution to the objectives as stated in the First Report of the ETD Project Team of the DOD.  The instruction aims to regulate the functioning of the Military Academy as an institution for joint Education, Training and Development in the DOD, which includes:


a.         The delineation of the command, control and support functions governing the management of the Academy.


b.         The integration of the Academy into the DOD’s joint ETD system, as summarised in DOD Philosophy for Education, Training and Development (Reference B).


c.         The provision of guidelines to services and divisions, and other clients of the Military Academy, as to sub-par b. above, and


d.         the furnishing of the Military Academy with the required legal and ethical foundation for its effective and efficient management.


8.         As both an academic institution of higher education and a joint, military training unit, the Academy has had to forfeit the luxury of producing and disseminating knowledge as self-contained activities.  While educating the corps of officer-learners enrolled in residential programmes, the Military Academy is obliged to balance the tension between the (sometimes divergent) demands of higher education and military competence.  In the past the Academy shared one of the characteristics of universities, in that it was relatively isolated and autonomous from its clients.  Since the advent of the 21st Century these features are beginning to change.  As the demands of society are being felt in the academic and defence environments outside the Military Academy, new imperatives necessitate a constant re-assessment of the institution’s relevancy in the DOD.  The defined core business of universities is evolving and the Academy finds itself having to play a greater role in the delivery of life-long learning and the development of a civic culture among its graduates.  At the same time the Academy is functioning in a niche market, having to provide a service to a specialist client (the DOD) and being influenced by a different set of factors compared to other providers of higher education. 


9.         This means that the Military Academy’s learning outcomes, especially those of residential programmes, cannot be of an intellectual nature only.  The outcomes of the institution’s military training programmes must be balanced among the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains.  Military competence, for instance, can be considered as a universal phenomenon, to be achieved mainly at a cognitive level through military training and relevant, contextualised academic study.  The officer’s obligation towards society, on the other hand, should be based on the belief (at an affective level) that military force is shaped by the state and that its employment should be for the benefit of the broader community, rather than for individuals or groups within society. 


10.        As in other defence forces of repute, the corporate spirit of the DOD’s corps of officers is founded in its combined competence and its shared social responsibility.  Its ethos (or organisational culture) regulates the behaviour of the officers and is in turn supported by a construct of regulations, customs and traditions.  In the affirmation of this particular professional ethos the Academy therefore differs from other institutions of higher learning, necessitating measures specifically designed to support and develop the corporate spirit of the DOD.  The Military Academy’s structure[2] was therefore designed to effect military professional development in all of the ETD domains:
























11.        The Aim of the Military Academy.  The aim of the Military Academy is to develop the military professional competencies of personnel, designated by the DOD, by providing education, development and training programmes that are integrated and contextual.  This aim is derived from the following:


a.         The Vision of the Military Academy.  The Military Academy is a renowned institution of the South African Department of Defence that strives for academic excellence in military professional development.  It is directed towards the development of the military professional competencies of personnel, designated by the DOD, by providing education, development and training programmes that are integrated and contextual. 


b.         The Mission of the Military Academy. The Military Academy fills the need for contextualised academic programmes at a certificate, diploma, graduate and post-graduate level, to clients within the DOD and foreign defence forces, through technologically supported residential- and distance education.  It provides for the continued, joint formative training of residential learners and facilitates their continued functional training at their respective functional training units.  The Military Academy will, in addition to its core functions, provide research products to the DOD.  It will support the department by the provisioning of professional and academic services, as contracted between the Academy and its clients within the DOD.  It is also uniquely positioned to, through the University’s Community Service (the agency), provide social developmental assistance to local civilian communities.


12.        Functions.  Derived from the aim above, the Military Academy is mandated to conduct a variety of specific functions in the attainment of departmental objectives.  These functions are: 


a.         The academic development of designated personnel by presenting the following programmes, for which appropriate qualifications must be awarded:


i.          Preparatory Certificate in Military Studies (PCMS) at NQF level 4/5, through a residential course of one academic semester (6 months) – optional.


ii.          Certificate in Military Studies (CMS) at NQF level 5, through either a residential course of one (1) academic year, or through distance education of not exceeding two (2) consecutive calendar years.


iii.         Diploma in Military Studies (DMS) at NQF level 5, through either a residential course of not exceeding two (2) consecutive academic years, or through distance education of not exceeding four (4) consecutive calendar years.


iv.         Bachelor’s Degree in Military Science (B Mil) at NQF level 6, through either a residential course of not exceeding three (3) consecutive academic years, or through distance education of not exceeding six (6) consecutive calendar years.


v.          Post-graduate Degrees in Military Studies at NQF levels 7 to 8, through residential or modular courses of varying duration.


b.         The Military Academy must provide for the continued joint formative training of residential learners and facilitate their continued functional training at their respective Services’/Divisions’ training units.  Irrespective of the academic qualification achieved, learners participating in residential programmes must


i.          be instilled with the appropriate military ethos, as expressed in the SANDF’s Code of Conduct (Reference C);


ii.          remain proficient in conducting regimental/divisional duties, characteristic of their respective Services’ military units;


iii.         be assisted in the development of general psychomotor skills, physical fitness and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, and


iv.         upon graduation, have advanced to the greatest extent possible in attaining the competencies required for a person of his/her rank and mustering as per applicable post profile in the relevant Service.


c.         The Military Academy must, subject to the development of suitable media, processes and systems, provide designated personnel with the opportunity to acquire all of the above qualifications, barring the PCMS, through distance education.


d.         The Military Academy must continually provide research products to the DOD.


e.         The Military Academy should provide professional and academic services to the DOD, as contracted between the Academy (the service provider) and DOD services/divisions (the clients).


f.          The Military Academy may, through the University’s Community Service (the agency), provide social assistance to civilian communities. 




13.        Outputs.  The Military Academy’s deliverables have always been the number of military officers trained to specification.  As a service provider to the DOD, the Academy’s output is therefore rendered in the domain of Education, Training and Development (ETD) and it is consequently structured to conduct its activities as an institution of higher education[3].  A realistic summary of the unit’s potential output per year could therefore be illustrated as follows:


S No

Core Objectives






To provide contextualised military professional development programmes

i.  210 Undergraduate learners ETD to specification


ii.  40 Learners on PCMS ETD to specification


iii. 20 Post-graduate learners ETD to specification



To provide research products

Policy advice and decision support


To provide community services

Human and organisational development


14.        Throughput.  Turning to the number of officers that have passed through the institution since 1994, it becomes evident the Military Academy is experiencing a reduced throughput.  This is mainly due to a decreasing intake of freshmen on undergraduate programmes.  On the other hand, it is experiencing an oversupply of candidates for the Preparatory Certificate for Military Studies and an acceptable number of candidates for post-graduate programmes.  The numbers on these programmes are, however, limited by the availability of training capacity (in the case of the PCMS) and by employment commitments (in the case of post-graduate programmes).  Looking at the illustration of the throughput below, the following facts must be noted:


a.         Figures (barring PCMS Courses) are based on annual complement of residential learners as at the beginning of each academic year - that is, before the unsuccessful learners were withdrawn from studies. 


b.         PCMS courses commenced in the second semester of 2000 only.  Two of these courses are conducted annually since, with qualifications awarded at the end of each course. 


c.         Undergraduate programmes are usually conducted over a period of three years, implying that about 30% of the year’s total number of undergraduate learners acquired their first degrees at the end of any particular year. 


d.         Post-graduate programmes (especially the residential programmes) have been exceptionally successful, with almost every candidate acquiring the appropriate qualification within the minimum time allowed.




15.        Academic Education Programmes.  Programmes are conducted under the supervision of the Faculty of Military Science (Appendix A), which provides for three broad directions of study:  War and Society, Military Management and Technology.  These are grouped into the following undergraduate programmes:


            a.         War, Environment and Technology and


            b.         Security and Africa Studies (derived from War and Society). 


c.         Human and Organisational Development and


d.         Organisation and Resource Management (both derived from Military Management).


            e.         Technology and Management and


f.          Technology.


Postgraduate academic programmes that are based on undergraduate programmes with broader or narrower areas of specialisation are offered, in most cases up to MMil level.  In future, selected academic programmes will be offered through the medium of distance education.


16.        Military Training Programmes.  Programmes are conducted under the supervision of the Section Military Development (Appendix A).  The Military Academy contributes towards the continued formative training and the functional military training of residential undergraduate learners, with the aim of ensuring that the officers qualified at the institution are able to fulfil their role as military practitioners on completion of their period of study.  To this end it conducts programmes that facilitate


a.         the development of officers’ military professional competencies.  This is done by conducting an integrated professional development programme at the Academy and by facilitating officers’ participation in the functional courses presented at other DOD training units.  These objectives will apply to learners on the residential undergraduate programmes only and will exclude the PCMS and postgraduate programmes. 


b.         The Academy also maintains a military environment conducive to officers’ academic study and military professional development.  This goal applies to all residential undergraduate learners and is achieved by


                        i.          maintaining a regimented military unit routine;


ii.          conducting physical training, sport and recreation programmes typical of the military;


                        iii.         conducting leadership- and adventure training exercises, and


iv.         appointing, guiding and supervising officers in leadership positions on learners’ management organisations. 


c.         The Academy creates opportunities for officers to cultivate a balanced lifestyle, complementary to the military ethos.  This goal applies to all residential undergraduate learners and is achieved by creating and supporting opportunities for constructive recreational and cultural activities. 


17.        Leadership Development.  The Military Academy has constituted a learner management organisation (the Military Academy Students Council [MASC]) from the residential learner body.  The MASC is chaired by an elected learner, the Student Captain, and is allocated the responsibility to regulate undergraduate learner affairs in terms of its Constitution.  A Course Committee is, in a similar vein, elected for each residential undergraduate programme presented at the Military Academy.  Each Course Committee is represented on the MASC and is be responsible for the management of the particular programme’s learner affairs.  The learners in leadership positions are rotated annually, to give exposure to as many officers as possible.  In addition to their routine responsibilities, the learners in the various portfolios (sport, study, social, etc) are burdened with the management of official activities on the training programme.  In combination, these activities assist in the development of leadership skills.






18.               Teaching/Learning Process.  Quality assurance with respect to the learning and teaching interaction focuses on student feedback about the effectiveness of the facilitation of the learning process and the quality of the course content.  Both aspects are evaluated by means of a standard questionnaire that is processed by UNI-ED of the University of Stellenbosch.


19.               Departmental Standards.  The external evaluation of academic departments is another quality control measure that is prescribed by the University of Stellenbosch.  This entails an inspection of various aspects of the department by a panel of academics from other tertiary institutions.  The evaluation covers the following aspects:


a.         Staff provision.


b.         Research and academic expertise.


c.         Teaching programme.


d.         Service rendering to students.


e.         Available infrastructure.


f.          Organisational functioning.


g.         General academic stature.


20.        Academic Programmes.  The coherence and relevance of academic programmes will in future (from 2002) be further assured by the introduction of programme advising committees, which will be comprised of appointed academics and relevant stakeholders from the DOD.  These committees will serve to advise the Faculty about the relevance of its programmes and will provide a platform for the exchange of information about research opportunities and opportunities for service rendering, while at the same time serving to market the institution and its graduates.


21.        Student Performance.  All students are, of course, regularly evaluated on their mastery of the respective academic programmes in terms of the University of Stellenbosch’s regulations.  Qualifications are only awarded when prescribed standards had been met.  For those students on service-specific contracts (such as pupil-pilots) additional performance measures, such as a higher pass mark for aeronautical science, may apply.




22.        Military Weeks.  Each of the Military Weeks (of which there are three per year) is designed to be a component of the integrated military professional development programme.  The learner groups on some of the Military Weeks are evaluated formally in terms of written- and practical examinations (marked X below) and by means of peer group ratings on others (marked X).  They are evaluated informally by observation on the remainder (marked X), where possible.  During 2001 the following activities were conducted during the Military Weeks: 



PCMS Courses

MA 03 (1st Year)

MA 02 (2nd Year)

MA 01 (3rd Year)
























Vacation Leave




































Adventure Trg: Sea












Adventure Trg: Land












Leadership Progr












Adventure Trg Exps












Ex Trans Enduro













23.        Continuous Evaluation.  Military Instructors (one MI for each of the four programmes above) continuously monitor the development of undergraduate learners.  The instructors report their observations and other incidents that have a bearing on the learners’ leadership development, discipline and general conduct.  At the end of learners’ periods of study, these confidential reports are attached to the final reports on each learner’s academic performance.


24.        Functional Training.  During the midyear recess of five weeks, the majority of learners attend functional courses at their respective Services’ training institutions.  While conducting these courses they are subject to the usual SANDF evaluation- and quality control measures. 




25.        Consolidation.  At a work session during 1999, a number of strategic issues were identified.  While all of them received attention since, a number of the issues were adequately addressed and are now being consolidated.  They are:


a.         Academic Education.  The Faculty of Military Science’s processes, structures, programme contents, grouping and sequence of the higher education sub-system were transformed, in line with the requirements of the Act on Higher Education, the SAQA and the DIDTETA.  These programmes are now running and are continuously being fine-tuned.


b.         Military Training.  The Section Military Development’s processes, structures, programme contents, grouping and sequence of the military training sub-system at the Academy were adapted and is functioning well. 


c.         Community Service.  The staff and learners of the Military Academy have revised the processes, structures, contents, grouping and sequence of the internal- and external community service rendered by the Military Academy.  Service is presently being rendered at a satisfactory level, but remain under constant review.


26.        Present and Future Focus.  The following issues require more work and will remain a challenge for some time to come:


a.         General Support Systems.  The unit is revising the processes and structures of the support services sub-system at the Academy.  These include the resident management-, human resources-, logistic-, intelligence- and financial support structures as well as the systemic interactions with the GSB.  Improvement must be effected in:


i.          Organisational Efficiency.  Identifying unnecessary and cumbersome procedures and the duplication of organisational structures so that remedial action can be undertaken and organisational efficiency achieved.


ii.          Cost Effectiveness.  Analysing the Military Academy system in terms of the expenditure on the achievement of each objective in relation to its importance for the mission of the Military Academy.


b.         Research Output.  Improving the current levels of research output generated by the Faculty of Military Science.  Since the unit is under-staffed in terms of lecturers at present, the academic personnel (including the Centre for Military Studies) has had very little opportunity to increase their output in this domain. 


c.         Representivity.  Influencing the policies and processes guiding the recruitment and selection of learners and staff, to attract suitable candidates that are representative of the racial and gender composition of the RSA population and of the Services of the SANDF[4].  The staffing process presently being conducted has provided a window of opportunity, which is being utilised fully by the institution.


d.         Marketing.  Developing and maintaining plans to promote the image and awareness of the Military Academy within the SANDF, the tertiary education sector, the RSA in general and the SADC.  Accessibility of the institution must be improved through the implementation of a distance learning system, for which funds have now been released.  The project will eventually open the Academy’s opportunities for higher education to all personnel of the DOD who meet the academic selection criteria.


27.        Hard Issues.  The Military Academy is attempting to come to grips with some concrete issues that affect its viability directly.  Some of these are:


a.         The slashing of the Academy’s operating budget for FY 2001/2002 by more than 50%.  Although additional funds have been awarded since (for library books, the distance education project and allowances, for instance) the unit’s ability to maintain the teaching and learning platform (computers, printing, stationery, travelling for research and selection boards, etc) is straining under the restrictions. 


b.         Allied to the issue above is the question of the maintenance of facilities and infrastructure.  With the DPW withdrawing by the middle of 2002 and the facilities already in need of a major overhaul (the old main accommodation block and the facilities on Malgaskop already being declared unfit for habitation, for instance) the unit is not very optimistic that its appearance will improve soon.  Considering its attempts to improve its exposure and accessibility, it may just be promising the environment for military professional development that it cannot deliver upon. 


c.         The Military Academy is attempting to improve customer satisfaction by identifying its clients’ needs and moving to satisfy them to a greater extent than ever before.  It has already established an agreement with the SAAF and is providing the full ground school phase during pupil pilots’ first year at the Academy.  Constant communication with the SA Navy (with reference to navigation and nautical science) and the SAMHS (with reference to industrial psychology) may soon lead to the establishment of agreements in these specialist fields as well.  As the SANDF moves forward with the registering of some of its functional courses (such as the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme), it is expected that the Military Academy will play a pivotal role in the validation and accreditation of these courses with the SAQA. 


28.        Soft Issues.  The Military Academy may be relatively isolated geographically, but it is still subject to the same national- and organisational environment as other military units.  Being squarely placed in the domain of higher education, it needs to accommodate international and constitutional imperatives in this environment as well.  Among the more immediate issues of this nature are the following:


a.         Health Status.  Although it is not possible to determine the extent of the challenge, it is expected that learners will show an increased incidence of HIV/AIDS.  Adding to the issue is the fact that single-sex residences have been abandoned for a number of years now, which could exacerbate the occurrence of behaviour that put learners at risk.  During the past year, for instance, the Military Academy has experienced a sudden and dramatic increase in the number of reported pregnancies among its learners (from 1 in 1999, to 0 in 2000 and then to 6 in 2001), all of them out of wedlock.  Fortunately, policy was in place to facilitate the temporary withdrawal and expected return of the affected women.  The Academy is attempting to deal with this issue by educating its learner body, but has difficulty in addressing the core of the problem – different value systems, arising from the diversity of cultures represented.


b.         Retention.  Research has indicated that learners at the Academy have, in the last decade, moved from an institutional to a careerist motivation in furthering their studies.  With the transformation of the SANDF being hampered by the lack of approved establishment tables, cumbersome staffing processes, decreasing operational capabilities, perceptions of inadequate remuneration and a host of other hygiene issues, the learners may also not necessarily have a very positive impression of their career opportunities.  The graduates are finding that their services are in relatively high demand in the private sector, even in a depressed economy.  Allied to the international trend of job-hopping, the Academy is seriously concerned with morale, motivation and eventually retention of its graduates.  It is addressing this issue as best as it can, but realises that it has little control over the environment within which it functions. 




29.        The Military Academy has been producing officers for the defence of the RSA for more than half a century.  It is a well-established institution for contextualised higher education and is equipped with the training facilities, programmes and structures to improve the competency and expertise within the DOD.  While it cannot be said to have ever produced officers in sufficient numbers to make a real difference, this in no way implies that the concept of a Military Academy is flawed.  For a variety of reasons, the defence force has simply never resorted to recruiting and training all (or even the majority) of its general-duty officers with the eye on acquiring a higher education.  The Military Academy is therefore under-utilised in terms of its potential.


30.        At present the Academy is facing a number of challenges, most of which are not unique to the Military Academy as an institution of higher learning or as a military unit.  Realising the potential value of its product to the DOD, it is adapting to changes in the external environment as best it can, while at the same time adopting a visionary approach in transforming its current business.  It anticipates that, should the support it requires be forthcoming, it could become a vital element within the DOD’ strategy on ETD and, indeed, the Department’s contribution to the Millennium Africa Plan.






              October 2001

[1]           The words “student” and “learner” are applied as synonyms in this staff paper, since the former is preferred in the academic environment and the latter in the military.

[2]           See Appendix A.

[3]           See Appendix A.

[4]           See Appendix B.