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Johannesburg - Accusations that Woolworths excludes whites from employment have fuelled an online debate, with some customers calling for a boycott of the store.
“If a white person can’t work at Woolies, why must we spend our money there?” tweeted @VreesAfrikaans on Wednesday. Musician Steve Hofmeyr agreed, tweeting: “Gonna be hard, but goodbye Woolies.”
The Solidarity trade union said on Monday that Woolworths had excluded whites from applying for job positions.
The union intended starting a campaign against the retailer if it did not change job advertisements on its website stating that only black, coloured and Indian candidates would be considered, deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said.
Meanwhile, Sam Wilson, whose twitter profile states she is a digital editor at Woolworths, tweeted: “Dude, I’m new and I am white. Also I am currently interviewing white people. This just ISN’T true.”
Woolworths has denied claims that it was reserving all jobs for designated groups: blacks, coloureds, Indians, women, and people with disabilities.
“The Employment Equity Act expects all South African companies with more than 50 employees to plan our workforce by race, gender and disability,” the company said in a statement. “Like all South African companies, Woolworths has a role to play in transformation. For this reason, SOME positions (where there is under-representation) are designated for EE [employment equity] groups.”
The company also took to twitter, personally addressing claims by tweeters that they did not hire whites.