No white males for SAA pilot training programme

SAA has not hired any white males for its cadet pilot programme this year. (Gallo)

SAA has not hired any white males for its cadet pilot programme this year. (Gallo)

"In essence, it would appear that the ban on the employment of white male trainee pilots has not been lifted in practice," the FW De Klerk Foundation said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the foundation, of the final 40 candidates for the 2013 intake for South African Airways's cadet pilot development programme, not a single white man was selected. The Foundation claims that this is because the candidates fall under the category of previously disadvantaged individuals as defined in the Employment Equity Act.

The group reportedly consists of 10 black men, four black women, nine coloured men, one coloured woman, seven Indian men, two Indian women and seven white women.

The foundation has criticised SAA's selection, saying that the airline should keep in mind that aptitude, ability and qualifications of applicants must play a central role in their employment decisions – regardless of race or gender. 

It said the airline should also not create "an absolute barrier carrier" by completely barring groups that do not fall under the Employment Equity Act.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali has stated that, "it is important to note this [the choice of cadets] in the context of the current reality and measures that need to be taken".

Tlali further stated that "the cadet programme is the airline's effort to transform not only its own but also the country's flight deck community, which is nowhere close to reflecting the country's demographics".



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