SOME 34,000 South Africans applied for 90 trainee traffic police posts and at least six died during the recruitment fitness test.
Six applicants are thought to have died from dehydration during a KwaZulu-Natal traffic department trial at a stadium in Pietermaritzburg this week, according to reports by state broadcaster SABC news and news agency SAPA.
“More than 34,000 applicants qualified for the 90 trainee posts which were advertised,” department executive council member Willies Mchunu said in a statement.
“Scores of them could not cope with the hot weather and collapsed,” he said, adding many were taken to hospital.
“We regret any injuries or (loss) of lives.”
Another person was reported to have committed suicide in frustration after the test, the SABC said.
South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 25.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, up from 24.9 per cent in the previous quarter, the government statistics agency said last month.
Unemployment is the biggest challenge facing Africa’s largest economy. The rate is estimated to be close to 50 per cent when discouraged job seekers are included.