SAA could easily and very successfully recruit flight crew from all over Africa. Many of these pilots would already be type rated and need only a bakelite stamp from the jolly old SA CAA. Some might even be women and come from Ethiopia? That's akin to what Air Botswana did some years ago when the company recruited a few Tanzanian F27 first officers and placed them in the left hand seats of their Fokkers, or so it has been told. This did not lead to any diminution of aviation safety, something which seems sometimes or often to be inherently compromised in Africa for reasons too staggeringly incomprehensible to be able to be understood by anyone.
My limited understanding of affirmative action is that it would not mean that no pale males or females will be recruited, it would mean that the non-pales would be given priority. This is racist, but as we all know that blacks cannot be racist in the PC world, it is acceptable racism.
That said, there are plenty of black pilots with whom I would feel safer than a lot of whites.
As you are aware, I seldom post on this site. However, as you are also aware, this one is close to home! One of the reasons why I've pursued my career in the UK (apart from the sunny weather ) is the application of the above policy, in my instance, after passing all the psycho, sim and interview processes. No official letter but a selection board member told me that I was of the wrong "demographic" when I called to find out whether I had made it or not (I had passed the interview process and was to be in the next group to be employed). This was in 2005 and I decided not to wait any longer as I wasn't getting any younger. I know that they have subsequently employed pale males, when absolutely necessary, but it appears that this could still be the "unofficial" recruitment policy. Pity that this policy, whatever you want to call it, is in place as SAA is still a desirable airline to work for. Further to that, it resulted in me totally disinvesting in SA and emigrating. I don't think that I'm the only one either!
The question here is does SAA employ the affirmative action policy? Well lets see what is affirmative action, as far as I understand it it states that if you have 2 applicants with the SAME qualifications applying for a job then the applicant who satifies the criteria for affirmative action ie age,race gender etc will get the job. I personally don't have a problem with that. However when you have a policy that states that a certain percentage of your workforce must be of a certain age, race gender etc then that is a quota system and has nothing to do with affirmative action. From what I've heard in the past this seems more in line with how SAA ( and probably all other parastatals) have chosen their staff. So as far as I see it the quota system is in force under the guise of affirmative action. Just my take.
They cannot recruit from other countries outside of South Africa unless they can prove that there is not suitable South Africans that meet their entry requirements to fill that post, regardless if they white male or female!
Malagant, I'm not so sure about that being the case in practice. It seems to be easier in political terms to justify hiring a foreigner than a whitey. The Gautrain was build be the French, Escom are using Chinese to build powerlines and the airforce have Zimbo instructors, as just a few examples.