Solidarity wants explanation from SAA

Solidarity has written to South African Airways (SAA) asking for reasons for excluding white men from the company’s cadet pilot programme.

“The trade union requested SAA to provide reasons why Daniël Hoffman, Dirk Kotze, and several other white male candidates’ applications for inclusion in the cadet programme had been unsuccessful,” deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said today.

Hermann said the union received several complaints from white men who had unsuccessfully applied to join the cadet programme.

“A number of these candidates were invited to undergo psychometric testing, but thereafter … were only informed earlier this month by email that their applications had been unsuccessful. We are not aware of a single white male candidate who advanced to the next phase of the selection process.”

On Monday, SAA announced it had completed the selection process of candidates for its cadet pilot programme. A total of 40 candidates qualified for the programme.

These included 10 black men, four black women, nine coloured men, one coloured woman, seven Indian men, and two Indian women.

Seven white women were accepted into the programme.

Hermann said Hoffman (22), who obtained an IT degree in geographic information systems cum laude at the University of the Free State last year, was invited to undergo psychometric testing last year.

“However, he subsequently heard nothing about his application and was informed in response to his email enquiries that no further information was available.”

Hoffman was informed by email that his application had been unsuccessful, he said.

Kotze (21), who was studying towards a national diploma in civil engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, was invited for the test and was unsuccessful.

Solidarity accused SAA of using the lifting of the ban on applications by white male candidates for the cadet programme as a smokescreen for continued racial discrimination.

The union said it asked for reasons for the exclusion of white men into the programme in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.

Solidarity would then ask for a judicial review of SAA’s decision.

In a statement yesterday, SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said: “It is important to ensure that there is transformation across all disciplines in the company. At the moment, SAA’s flight-deck crew is not reflective of South Africa’s race and gender demographics.”

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