Dirk Herman

Deputy general secretary, Solidarity

Dirk Herman is the deputy general secretary of South Africa's largest independent trade union, Solidarity. A largely white, Afrikaans trade union, Solidarity has its roots in the Transvaal Miner's Association, which formed over 100 years ago and later became the South African Mineworkers Union (MWU). Herman joined Solidarity in the late 1990s as a sector organiser. Having done his doctoral thesis on the influence of affirmative action on the alienation of the non-designated group in South Africa, Herman is a vocal critic of the ANC government's affirmative action policies, particularly in the face of South Africa's ballooning skills shortage. He has written three books, the most recent of which, The Naked Emperor: Why Affirmative Action has Failed, was published in 2007. Born and raised in Heilbron in the Free State, Herman studied law at Potchefstroom University, now called North West University. � Eamon Allan

Lunch spot: Die Werf, Pretoria