“And then I realized adventures are the best way to learn.”



Late Professor J C Milln OBE, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South African Sea Cadets.

The essential centre of emphasis in the Sea Cadets is primarily the cadet and his or her training, as is evidenced in Life Skills Development towards constructively healthy citizenship. Every cadet parade and training session is an opportunity to encourage cadet involvement in activity packed with interest, skills learning with enjoyment, and even “fun” in participation. Liveliness in action directed towards realistic contribution to career development forms a part of our vision in successful character development; and this involves cadets, their officers and instructors in a structured co-operative approach to both training the Individual and training to work as a team.


The challenge and reward of training is thus a composition on a multiplicity of actions. The “challenge” to the officers and Instructors is a vital factor, success in which leads to greater personal satisfaction and reward to them. The “challenge” to the cadet, which can be so dependent upon the commitment of both his senior rates, his officers and instructors, can ensure both character development and skills achievement.


The realistic basis of cadet participation is related to: The enhancement of career prospects through cadet training The dynamics of training and its quality, whether it be through the unit officer commanding, unit officers and instructors or other external factors The tangible support given both the internally and externally.


Support opportunities

As a training company we, the executive and I, have been very conservative about advertising that, like others, opportunities abound for financial or material assistance. Unashamedly we will happily welcome every help towards training our youth.


Who are the Sea Cadets?

The Sea Cadet movement traces its beginnings back to the port of Whitstable in Kent, England in 1854. Thereafter the movement spread to Australia in 1885 and thence to South Africa in 1905. The South African movement’s first training Unit was started in Cape Town on the 8th June 1905 on Woodstock Beach. The training base was opened by Rear Admiral Sir John Durnford Commander-in-Chief Royal Naval Station, Cape, and was the first time Cadets wore a Uniform. The intervening years have witnessed many changes to the Organisation's governors. But sight has never been lost of the essential aim and objectives - that of providing maritime based training to the youth of South Africa. Today there are Training Ships in many places throughout South Africa offering extra-mural character development and maritime orientated skills training to boys and girls from Grade 6 to Grade 12 or 18 years of age, whichever comes, first at School. It is all about enjoying “Serious Fun” but at the same time learning leadership, self-discipline and loyalty. Developing one’s self through “Honour and Skill”.


What do the Cadets Learn?

Our programmes are so structured that the cadets will assimilate the skills we offer through 6 Levels, starting with the New Entries at Level 1 and ending with the Cadet Chief Petty Officer at Level 6. These levels are advancement based for progression up the promotion ladder, but in addition offer the Cadets from level 3 onwards, a choice of training aligned to the units standards of the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA).


The initial training is all about introducing the “Culture of Sea Cadets” and its associated disciplines. This is accomplished by means of a curricula based on the elements of Personal Hygiene and Maritime subjects. As the Cadets progress they are also subject to those necessary elements of Leadership to better equip themselves to meet the challenges of life.


The senior training is aligned to the SAQA unit standards covering elective elements which include seamanship, catering, communications, engineering and first aid – all of which will equip the cadets for a journey through life in the maritime industry. In addition our training also cultivates those intangible social attributes, whatever the actual skill being taught, of self-discipline, self-esteem, selfworth, self-confidence, self-identity, self-resilience, self-attitude, successful teamwork, leadership and citizenship, all of which underlie the training and which directly impact on the cadet’s ability to concentrate, learn, consolidate, think and apply information or skills which will be necessary through life. These attributes are at the core of the Sea Cadets' ethos. All will translate into whatever field of endeavour the cadets progress to on reaching adulthood.


The Training Philosophy

The Training philosophy encompasses “Action Centred Learning” allied to “Outcome Based Competency Assessment” It is not just enough to be able to “Do”, the Cadets must also know “Why” and “Use”. Where there are the available resources, Cadets are also taught to swim. Disciplined parade training forms one of the key elements of team building, self-discipline and leadership - cadets need to learn to become team players.


The training is provided by landbased training ships. These facilities are supported by local communities and parent support groups, whose task is to provide for a safe headquarters in which the training can take place as well as funding the needs of the local training ship. The Sea Cadet training inculcates a new cultures into the new boys and girls, the “Culture of Learning” as well as the “Culture of the Sea”. These cultures both demand similar application, commitment, dedication and discipline. But all this will ultimately lead to reward – advancement up the ranks as well as skills qualifications.


Where does the Funding come from?

The philanthropic public, commerce and industry as well as from investments. The maritime industries have offered tangible support and sponsorship to the organisation in pursuit of its Mission, this support has ensured that each cadet received his or her own set of training manuals free of charge.


The organisation also benefits from substantial grants from the National Lottery Distribution Fund – Lotto, as well as from the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI). The distribution of this funding is controlled through the annual budgetary requirements of the various training ships.


Cadets are involved in community affairs which also serves to both advertise the presence of the training ship in a town or city and to collect much needed local funding. Community involvement is also a requirement of the training programmes thereby inculcating the values of community service into the minds of the cadets.


Major Fundraising programmes are introduced on an annual basis and the introduction of the new training Curricula in 2014, with elements aligned to the SAQA unit standards, will assist the Maritime industries to play a bigger role in the funding of the training operations.


What is the Status of the Company?

The South African Sea Cadets is a Registered Non Profit Company under the Company’s Act. Company registration No. 2005 / 026649 / 08. It is also a registered Public Benefit Organisation No.930039234 and a Non Profit Organisation 057-289-NPO.


The Company enjoys the recognition of the South African Navy, however it does not derive any direct funding from any Government Departments. The South African Navy is authorised to assist in the provision of training for Cadets at various SA Naval Training Establishments, but this does not include any financial assistance beyond travel costs.


What is our Mission?

“To provide and promote for the youth within the Republic of South Africa, such basic maritime training and skills development as are required for them to avail themselves of either further training or various employment opportunities within the maritime and related industries.” The motto of the SASC is Honour and Skill.


The organisation is first and foremost a training company which has developed a tradition of success built on the foundations of a passion to provide the best to be the best in everything we do.


What are the Corps Values?

In pursuit of its Mission and Objectives, the South African Sea Cadets subscribe to the following minimum values: To be non-political, non-racist, non-sexist and nonsectarian To act without fear or favour in all of its activities To uphold the ethical values defined by the guiding principles which underpin the integrity and professionalism of the SASC as follows: Justice, Respect and Responsible Care.


The Core Values of the Company embody Integrity, Excellence and Service, all of which are defined by the Sea Cadet Compass of Life and which include Honesty, Morality, Loyalty, Responsibility, Accountability, Self-respect, Discipline and Obedience.


What is the Corps’ Population Composition?

The South African Sea Cadets offers training to all boys and girls in South Africa, irrespective of race, gender, culture or creed, between grade six to grade twelve at school.


The Company is and has been completely integrated for over three decades, where members of the various race groups have worked and played in complete harmony.


The Company clearly represents the bio-diversity of the population of South Africa as defined in the BEE Act.




Female Cadets, Officers and Instructors play an extremely vital and positive role in the Company. They have reached the pinnacle of success by winning the South African Sea Cadet of the Year on a number of occasions - a competition which sees them travelling to a Sea Cadet Exchange Programme hosted by various member organisations of the International Sea Cadet Association, of which South Africa is a founding member. There is no discrimination between the sexes.


“The Competency Learning Challenge” and “Serious Fun”?

It is all very well being able to write out an explanation of a solution, if you are so gifted. But with our modus operandi of “Serious Fun” it is much more relevant to challenge the Cadet’s ability to perform a task “competently” within certain stated criteria - “Tie this thick rope and this thin rope together using a suitable knot before the drift of the boat becomes too strong” The assessment of this task will be both “Outcomes Based” and “Competency”.


What then is “Serious Fun”?

Our Cadets attend school and spend most of their day being taught in classrooms. We have adopted the modus operandi that our Cadets must enjoy “Serious Fun” in their Cadet learning experience. They must know that if they do not get the answer to situational example correct, they may have to take a swim to retrieve the boat!


What we teach them is serious material and life skills. But the manner in which this teaching is presented must be fun outside of the classroom.


What is the structure of the South African Sea Cadets?

A Non Profit Company does not have shareholders but Members, the de facto “Owners”. The Company has a typical hierarchical structure, yet the most important beneficiaries are the Cadets, who are the Company's customers!


The Sea Cadet Company has Life-long Members who elect the Board of Directors. The Board delegated the Day-to-day management of the Company to an Executive Management Committee, under a Chief Executive Officer, which comprises the Company Secretariat, Company Finances, Training Development, Marketing and Sea Cadet Corps, all of whom are appointed by the Board of Directors. The Executive Management Committee are responsible for the growth, effectiveness and efficiency of the Company management.


The Sea Cadet Corps is a Division of the Company, and is commanded by the Senior Officer Sea Cadets. The Corps is the uniformed section of the Company and the very kernel of the Company. The Corps is made up of the Training Ships which are staffed by volunteer adults, often ex-Cadets who wish to put something of value back into the Company from which they derived so much pleasure and fun. The Training Ships are where the “Serious Fun” take place.


South African Sea Cadet Company Structures



The purpose of this Section of this Governance Handbook is to document those necessary basic principles which will determine the direction and functionality of the SASC in order to achieve its current and future objectives and goals.


Mission Statement

“To provide and promote for the youth within the Republic of South Africa, such basic maritime training and skills development as are required for them to avail themselves of either further training or various employment opportunities within the maritime and related industries”


Vision Statement

The SASC will be the preferred maritime training organisation for young people wishing to acquire basic maritime skills and recognised by the maritime community as the leading maritime youth training and development organisation in South Africa.


Training Resources Statement

The training and skills development initiatives, in innovative and safe environments, will be of sufficient breadth and depth and of undisputed excellence, to meet requirements of the maritime industries of South Africa, and embody the cornerstones of value learning, self-worth among Cadets and staff, and quality performance among Cadets and staff The South African Sea Cadets will be a collaborative, disciplined community distinguished by partnerships and cooperative agreements with existing institutions, both public and private, which will enable Cadets and staff to cross institutional boundaries for innovative training SASC provides the Highest Quality most Cost Effective basic maritime education, training, skills and character development to the youth of South Africa, irrespective of culture, ethnicity, religion or gender, and who seek to achieve recognised Standards and Qualifications These training initiatives create a challenging learning environment which takes cognizance of the provision of Tuition and Assessment specifically related to the Maritime Industry; developed within the qualification framework aligned to the South African Maritime Safety Authority [SAMSA] and the South African Qualification Authority [SAQA]. These initiatives are responsive to changing requirements of the maritime industry The SASC promotes a safe, orderly, caring, and supportive environment. Each Cadet’s self-esteem is fostered by positive relationships with other Cadets and staff. The active participation of Cadet parents, instructors and community members is encouraged for the support of these initiatives.


Assurance Statement

The SASC maintains and uses an effective Governance Framework, specifically designed to: Provide a range of maritime training initiatives which are appropriate and responsive to the needs of maritime industry and are benchmarked to national standards of excellence Works in partnership with appropriate other maritime agencies to provide a support infrastructure which enhances and underpins the training experience of the Cadets Ensure that its training is challenging, accessible, efficient and delivered in an environment that is safe, confidential and secure Work in an open and honest training environment in which people are valued and respected as individuals for their positive views and contributions and are supportive of each other Develop its staff to ensure that they have up-to-date skills and knowledge to carry out their roles both individually and through effective team working Underpin all that it does with recognition of the importance of equal opportunities, celebrating diversity, recognising differences Improve reliability by error prevention which is the underpinning theme of the Governance Framework.


Our corporate members and supporters:




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