"She said when they arrived at the college they were told their waists should be no more than 88cm and their body mass below a certain measurement. "
For those who are wondering, 88 centimeters = 34.6 inches.
No fitness tests were mentioned in the article; only weight and waist measurement.
I wonder, really, if this is a not-so-subtle form of de facto racism? By using a BMI standard that was developed in reference to Western European white males and using it to restrict the employment of South African black women, they set an unfair standard. Not to mention that a person's waist circumference has little or nothing to do with their ability to do the job! Not when they could simply offer a fitness/endurance test to screen applicants. They also need to disclose the requirements of the position before applicants show up on their doorstep, so that the applicants can include physical conditioning in their preparations.
As badly as South Africa needs keen, ethical and dedicated officers, it's a wonder that they'd turn away any potential recruits on the authority of a measuring tape.