SA company’s IT job ad seeks Asian or white male, finds public backlash

By AT editor - 9 April 2018 at 11:11 pm
SA company’s IT job ad seeks Asian or white male, finds public backlash

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misidentified the RLB Pentad company in South Africa in connection with the PNet job ad placement. RLB Pentad alerted Africa Times to the name confusion, and the story has since been updated with that information.

A South African company’s employment ad seeking an Asian or white male for an IT position got lots of attention after Julius Sello Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, shared the ad on his Twitter account.

“Black man, you are on your own,” Malema said, posting an image of the job listing on South Africa’s PNET online employment portal – and quickly getting the attention of the portal managers, who confirmed they had removed the ad. 

“PNet STRONGLY condemns discrimination on our job adverts,” the Johannesburg-based company said in response to Malema. “Clients who advertise with us and do this are in breach of our Terms and Conditions of Service and the offending adverts will have to be removed as they are picked up.”

There was no immediate statement from Pentad Executive, the company placing the ad. A spokeswoman for RLB Pentad, a British firm with a 20-year presence in South Africa doing project management and survey work in construction, said Wednesday that it is not the same firm and was incorrectly identified as the company that placed the job advertisement.

“A brand name confusion occurred and the company who placed the advert has a similar name ‘Pentad Executive’ and is a recruitment company not affiliated to RLB Pentad,” said Charlene Viljoen in a statement.

While the offending IT ad was removed, some of the others – including a personal assistant position to a CEO – emphasized Afrikaans and English-speaking skills, another point of contention among hundreds who responded to Malema.

“You gotta respect the fact that they’re bold enough to say what they mean, instead of hiding behind ‘fluent in Afrikaans’ requirement,” said one. Others countered with reasons why the race requirements might make sense, but they still hadn’t seen a rationale provided by the company that placed it.

Image: Julius Malema/EFF

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