Cadet pilot training course applications from white men are no longer being accepted by South African Airways (SAA), Beeld newspaper reported on Friday. SAA spokesman Kabelo Ledwaba told Beeld that the cadet programme was being advertised online as an initiative to bring pilot demographics in line with the country’s broader demographics.
“Only 15% of SAA’s pilots are currently black, and this includes Indians and coloureds. The rest are white, and 91% of them are men.” Ledwaba said the airline would appoint male, white pilots when there were vacant posts for which applicants of other races could not be found.
Beeld had asked SAA why white applicants were being rejected across the board. An irate father had called the newspaper to complain that his son, who had a commercial pilot’s licence and met the educational and physical criteria, had been rejected on the grounds of race. By filling out several dummy applications, Beeld established that the online form had been programmed to summarily reject any white applicant.