South Africa’s Apartheid Pilots Being Hired in China

We are on a plane again. This time, we are making our passage to India.

Johannesburg was more dynamic than we remembered from our visit last year. More shopping malls. More new restaurants. The place is booming.

“Yes it is very nice…very full of life,” says the pretty South African woman, now sitting to our left. “But crime hangs over your head all the time. You always have to be careful. That part of it is not so nice. I have never been a victim of it…but you are always reminded. You don’t walk down the street. You don’t leave the doors of your car unlocked. You always have security guards and electric fences.”

“Do you have a Plan B?” we wanted to know.

“Well, we’re leaving South Africa next year. I love the place. My family’s been there for hundreds of years. We’re Africaaners, not English…we feel we are part of the country. I had to learn English in school; almost no one spoke it in the town where I grew up. We feel it really is our country. And it’s beautiful. But my husband is a pilot. He’s 50 years old, so he was a pilot in the South African Air Force before the Blacks took over. So, they call him an ‘apartheid pilot’. They’re trying to get rid of the ‘apartheid pilots’ and replace them with Blacks. The trouble is, there aren’t many qualified Black pilots…so they’re training them in Australia. But it takes years.

“My husband and the other ‘apartheid pilots’ are probably the best in the country. But they’ve got to leave to find work elsewhere. We’re going to China. A new airline is hiring a lot of them. Jade Airlines, I think it is called. We’re going to live in Shenzhen, China. It’s going to be very exciting. But I will miss South Africa.”

Bill Bonner
Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.

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3 Comments on "South Africa’s Apartheid Pilots Being Hired in China"

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Unfortunately I can see a time in the not to distant future where South Africa will descend down the path to ruin like Zimbabwe currently is and many other African countries have before.
Very sad and there doesn’t appear to be anything one can do to prevent it.

Modern Afrikaner

Its all part of affirmative action ….. a sophisticated method of stealing from hard workers and giving to those who have grown up in a culture of beggars.


@ Modern Afrikaner, not everyone is a begger some of us work very hard to get to the top. You should reserve such comments to yourself. Secondly, not everyone is lucky enough to grow up with the same opportunities other people had, that is why some of the youth of today still feel the effects of apartheid. I am working on becoming a pilot, and if I am a begger then I would have known that by now. I worked to get to university, attain a qualification, and am now paying to attain a commercial pilot license.

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