Asnath Mahapa, 23, was appointed as the beneficiary of South African Airways level two cadet pilot training programme, and the recipient of the airline's bursary scheme set aside for previously disadvantaged communities.
SAA spokesman Rich Mkhondo said Mahapa would start her training at a flight training school on February 1.
"Her internship will be with South African Express, a feeder airline and an alliance partner of SAA.
"Mahapa joins SAA from the South African Air Force where she spent two years at the Force's ground school. She has a commercial pilot's licence, has accumulated 240 hours of flying and underwent the Force's military training."
She would need to complete her Airline Transport Pilot Licence examinations in the next two to three months before she started flying on one of SAA's feeder airlines, Mkhondo said.