The Department of Defence is apparently trying to reverse racial quotas in its recruitment.
The latest South African Survey by the SA Institute of Race Relations shows that the military plans to employ more whites and fewer blacks.
The defence force admits there is a shortage of white personnel but says its recruitment drives are not based on racial quotas.
The survey shows the department’s employment equity targets are changing:
The black employment target from the current 72% to 65%;
Coloured employment from 13% to 10%;
Indian employment will remain at 1%;
The target for whites will increase from 14% to 24%.
The Institute of Race Relations figures are based on information contained in the defence department’s annual report and on its own calculations.
Stats SA’s 2015 midyear population estimates show that blacks represent 80% of the population, coloureds 8.8%, whites 8.2% and Indians 2.4%.
The research shows that there are huge numbers of vacancies in the military’s land and air defence, medical, and defence intelligence services.
The military currently has 57141 black, 10991 white, 10099 coloured and 916 Indian members.
SA National Defence Union national secretary Pikkie Greeff said the military found itself in this position because “when they started awarding exit packages they let go too many of the racial groupings that they now want to increase”.
Defence Department spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini admitted that there was a shortage of full-time white members but denied there were plans to change racial quotas.