Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –
South Africa’s Air Force has volunteered to help produce more Black African pilots following the report that 16 years after the end of apartheid, the national airline’s pilots are overwhelmingly White.
The failure of South African Airways (SAA) to increase the number of pilots from previously disadvantaged communities shows that the aviation industry is far from reaching its transformation deadline, observed Mmanaledi Mataboge, a reporter with the South African Mail and Guardian.
The racial make-up of the SAA currently includes 27 Indian men, 3 Indian women, 45 White women, 37 Black men, and 657 White men. Currently, there are no Black African women pilots.
Chief director of policy for the Air Force, Major General Lucky Ngema, recently announced a country-wide awareness program called Siyandiza (We are flying) to address the shortage of Black pilots.
Siyandiza aims to attract high school pupils to aviation, with the focus on previously disadvantaged communities. Through Siyandiza, the air force visits schools to draw the students' attention to possible careers in aviation. Its latest excursion was to the Reed Dance ceremony in KwaZulu-Natal to draw girls into the industry.
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