White men still being blocked from SAA cadet programme - Solidarity

Union submits letter of demand requesting reasons for rejection of Daniël Hoffman's application

White man again not admitted to cadet programme - Solidarity demands explanation from SAA

Trade union Solidarity today, in a letter of demand, requested South African Airways (SAA) to give reasons why a recent application for admittance to the SAA's cadet programme by one of its members, Daniël Hoffman, had been unsuccessful. Hoffman applied for the SAA's cadet programme in 2013 as well and on that occasion his application was also unsuccessful.

During a meeting between Solidarity and the SAA in 2013, the SAA confirmed that no white men, regardless of how they had performed in the selection process, had been admitted to the cadet programme. Among the 40 candidates who had been selected, there were ten black men, four black women, nine coloured men, one coloured woman, one Indian man, two Indian women and seven white women.

Solidarity states in the letter of demand that Hoffman performed exceptionally well in the aviation knowledge and the psychometric tests that are part of the selection process. According to Solidarity, Hoffman performed very well during the selection process in 2013 as well. Hofmann has already requested the SAA in a letter to indicate why his application was rejected. However, he has not received a reply to date.

Johan Kruger, spokesperson for Solidarity, said: ‘In our letter we ask the SAA to provide us with reasons for Mr Hoffman's unsuccessful application before 16 May 2014. We also want an indication of the number of white men whose applications were successful. Furthermore, we clearly state in the letter that all indications are that white men were once again not admitted to the cadet programme.'

Solidarity lodged a complaint regarding the fairness of the admittance policy of the SAA's cadet programme at the South African Human Rights Commission (HRC) in 2013. According to Kruger, the HRC is investigating the complaint and a legal opinion is awaited from its legal team. ‘We requested the SAA to put off the second phase of the most recent selection process, pending the HRC's finding on the fairness of the process. In spite of this request, the SAA simply went ahead with phase two,' said Kruger.

‘We will initiate a similar process this year if the SAA's feedback indicates that race was used as a criterion in the selection process. We believe there are sufficient grounds to contest the fairness of the process. We maintain that the measures of the selection process go beyond the scope and the restrictions of the Constitution, the Employment Equity Act and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. The selection process simply leads to the absolute exclusion of people of a specific gender purely on the basis of their race,' added Kruger.

Statement issued by Johan Kruger, Spokesperson: Solidarity, May 15 2014

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