Wanted: White male only.
That’s the job advert, placed on Gumtree by Quest Recruitment Agency on behalf of a cellphone business, which has kicked up a storm of protest, with the agency finding itself fielding accusations of racism.
Quest, denies the advert is either racist or sexist, but pulled it off the website this week after Weekend Argus made inquiries about the requirements for the job.
The SA Human Rights Commission, meanwhile, says it is investigating a similar job advertisement seeking “whites only” in Cape Town, which was posted last month.
A screengrab of Quest’s Gumtree advert for its Tyger Valley-based client – dated October 22 – declares that “this job is for you if you meet the following requirements”. Among these, it lists “white male”.
Mymoena Karriem, the agent who oversaw the advert, said nothing was untoward about the job’s requirements.
“It’s not the agency that specifies the requirements, it’s the client,” she said, arguing that the agency wasn’t being racist. She declined to name the cellphone outlet which advertised the job.
“People have been calling in and telling us we’re racist. It’s what the client wants, and what the client wants, the client gets,” Karriem said.
When pushed for her client’s identity, she said: “I’m not at liberty to tell you the client’s name.”
She also said the company had placed adverts for other jobs specifying other races, but refused to elaborate. When pressed further, she referred the Weekend Argus to a senior colleague.
Karriem’s colleague, who refused to give her name, said: “I can’t tell you my client’s (name). The clients ask us what they want for the job.”
“If a client needs a person with a certain skill-set, we’ll help.”
Customer service agent Thembinkosi Mdemka, who wanted to apply for the job, said he was discouraged because of the race requirement.
“I didn’t apply. They wouldn’t reply to my mail anyway (because) I’m an African,” he said.
“I felt they were selfish and limiting opportunities for everyone.”
The SAHRC said the other complaint it was dealing with was an advert titled “Algemene Werker: slegs blankes” (general worker: whites only), posted in Cape Town last month.While it had not received complaints in respect of the white-men-only advert, the SAHRC condemned such advertising. – Weekend Argus