SAA must come up with a better way to ensure merit and diversity
Natasha Michael, Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
17 August 2012
It is disturbing that SAA have opted to exclude people from its pilot training programme on the basis of race and gender.
No South African should feel excluded on the basis of the colour of their skin or the combination of chromosomes they happen to possess. To do so is to take our reconciliation project backwards.
People who are barred entry to programmes like this one feel an understandable sense of anger and resentment. People accepted to these programmes are left with a nagging doubt as to whether their abilities were taken into account or whether they got in simply because they ticked a certain demographic box. In the end, nobody wins.
Racial discrimination was the animating idea of apartheid and has no place in a democratic South Africa. There has to be a better way of ensuring diversity, merit and redress than blanket racial and gender quotas.
I will be writing today to the CEO of SAA, Ms Sizakele Mzimela, to request a meeting with her to discuss this further. I believe that, together, we can devise a way of ensuring racial and gender diversity without driving wedges between South Africans.