Preparing South African Youth for a Nautical
Introducing the South African Sea Cadets
Article and photos by Lt Cdr Glenn von Zeil,
SA Naval Reserves
“Honour and Skill” of the South African Sea Cadets is
proudly displayed under their badge. These words embody
the core values of the corps which are Integrity,
Excellence and Service and are instilled in the Sea
Cadets via their training and interaction with competent
instructors. These three words embody the cardinal
points of a Sea Cadet’s Compass of Life and include:
honesty, morality, loyalty, responsibility, discipline,
accountability, self-respect and obedience.
Cadets also teach the necessary knowledge and provides
practical skills underwritten by accredited courses
necessary for those who wish to follow a career at sea
within the maritime industry.
Cadet in South Africa movement traces its origins back
to the first South African Training Ship (TS) located on
Woodstock beach Cape Town. TS Woltemade was opened on 08
June 1905. The movement spread throughout South Africa
and currently there are 15 Training Ships; 9 are active
and developing those values and skills required to
ensure that the maritime industry is provided with
recruits who have a passion for the sea.
The Sea Cadets are led and managed by experienced
officers. Left to right: Cdr (SCC) Philip Miller (Area
Officer Western Cape/Chief Executive Officer/ ex
Commanding Officer TS Woltemade), SLt (SCC) Michael
March (ex Commanding Officer TS Woltemade), Capt (SCC)
Rupert Toms (ex Senior Officer Sea Cadets), Capt (SAN)
Peter Smith (ex Officer Commanding TS Woltemade)
the Sea Cadets?
Sea Cadets are school-going boys and girls from
Grade 6 to Grade 12 who enjoy having “Serious Fun”
whilst learning leadership, self-discipline and
maritime-orientated skills as a voluntary extra-mural
activity. Any youngster irrespective of race, gender, or
religion is welcome.
and when does the training take place?
The land-based Training Ships located around the
country provide a safe space with competent instructors
at which training can take place. Training takes place
on Fridays or Saturdays or Sundays depending on the
training ship involved, with leadership camps scheduled
during the school holidays. The highlight of the year is
the annual camp hosted by the SA Navy in Simon’s Town.
the Training Philosophy of the Sea Cadets?
“Action Centred Learning” allied to a practical
“Outcome Based Competency Assessment” is the approach
which the Instructors follow. This ensures that Sea
Cadets are able not only skilled to “Do” but also to
know “Why” they do it and how to “Use” available
Sea Cadets learn?
Sea Cadets are taught and assessed on practical
- First Aid
- Survival at sea
- Fire Fighting
- Restricted Maritime Radio
Several of the courses are certified and accredited
via national bodies providing the Sea Cadets with the
necessary certification towards their chosen career.
undergoing the training they also develop their
leadership, team building and self-discipline under the
watchful eye of experienced Instructors.
provides the training?
Each Training Ship is staffed by competent
volunteers, many of whom are themselves ex Sea Cadets or
parents of Cadets, and others who have followed careers
within the maritime industry, South African Navy or have
the skills that are needed to be imparted practically.
Who supports the Sea Cadets?
The South African Sea Cadet Association is a:
- Non-Profit Company (Company Registration Number:
- Non-Profit Organisation (057-289-NPO)
- Public Benefit Organisation [including Section
18A status] (9753846147/930039234)
It is staffed
by volunteers who have a passion for things nautical.
They are supported by local communities, parents, the
maritime industry, LOTTO and the SA Navy.
Opportunities are also provided by the maritime industry
and SA Navy for Sea Cadets to experience life at sea.
raised via the Sea Cadets annual fees and camp fees as
well as via bequeaths pledges and donations. Funding is
required in order to support Sea Cadets whose families
may not be in a position to fully fund their activities.
you wish to contribute either funding or materially to
the South Africa Sea Cadets please contact the National
Treasurer, Mr Deon Lincoln on 082 821 9361 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 7681, Newton Park,
Port Elizabeth, 6055.
wishing to join or assist in Sea Cadet training should
contact the Commanding Officer of the Unit within their
area for more details.