South African Sea Cadets
The motto “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.
The Sea 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.
The Sea 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)
Who are 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.
Where 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.
What is 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 resources.
What do Sea Cadets learn?
Sea Cadets are taught and assessed on practical skills including:
- 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.
Whilst undergoing the training they also develop their leadership, team building and self-discipline under the watchful eye of experienced Instructors.
Who 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.
Sea Cadets from TS Woltemade rigging a dingy to sail on the vlei
Sea Cadets practicing “pulling” which forges teamwork
Who supports the Sea Cadets?
The South African Sea Cadet Association is a:
- Non-Profit Company (Company Registration Number: 2025/026649/08)
- 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.
Funding is 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.
Should 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.
Anyone wishing to join or assist in Sea Cadet training should contact the Commanding Officer of the Unit within their area for more details.
Training Ship Location Founded TS Woltemade Cape Town 1905 TS Immortelle Johannesburg 1916 TS Springs Springs 1916 TS Tiburon Durban 1916 TS iNyathi East London 1922 TS Lanherne Port Elizabeth 1935 TS Bounty Vereeniging 1949 TS Arethusa Hartebeespoort Dam 1955 TS Quteniqua Mossel Bay 1985 TS Fearless Centurion 1987 TS Knysna Knysna 1989 TS Prince Alfred Port Alfred 1993 TS iNkwazi Richards Bay 1994 TS Eagle George 1997 TS Kromme St Francis Bay 2002 Senior Officer Sea Cadets