Flying blind?

SAA experiences turbulence

Trouble in the clouds
When news of the rejected applicants hit the proverbial propeller, trade union Solidarity as well as the Democratic Alliance, reacted with outrage. They had sent a letter from their lawyers, demanding that SAA to drop the quota system for cadets.

Solidarity acted on behalf of Pierre de Klerk, 19, Armand Moolman, 21, and Jan-Paul Nel, 20. Dirk Hermann, Solidarity’s deputy general secretary, said all three met all the requirements for the programme, but said their applications were instantly rejected “simply because they are white”.

SAA recently responded by saying that the "problems they have had with their online applications, have been rectified". The has ban on applications has since been lifted and the website has been changed in order to grant access to all. No applications will be rejected, according to Fikile Thabethe, head of the airline's legal department. The deadline for applications has since been extended to 31 August 2012.

According to the SAA spokesperson, Kabelo Ledwaba, the rejection of certain applications were done in order to bring pilot demographics in line with the countries outlook. Currently 85% of SAA pilots are white and of these, 91% are men.

"This total ban on applications from whites goes against the letter and spirit of the constitution," said Solidarity's deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann.
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Issue 58