The Democratic Alliance (DA) is hoping the High Court in Pretoria will this week hear its case in which it will seek to interdict government from bailing out South African Airways (SAA). The party filed an urgent application on Friday.

Government will oppose the DA’s action. Government last week said it would try to source more than R10 billion funding for the restructuring of the airline.

SAA went under business rescue in December after years of financial bleeding.

The DA’s Geordin Hill-Lewis says their application is seeking to interdict government from using Section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act which gives the Finance Minister emergency powers to spend money not budgeted for under specific circumstances.

Hill-Lewis says any SAA bailout would not constitute exceptional or emergency circumstances.

“The DA has filed an urgent application to stop the bailing out of yet again of SAA this time with another R10 billion of public money. The fact is that in the midst of a national crisis where so many people are suffering and so many people have lost their jobs and businesses have closed, it’s absolutely unacceptable to even think about bailing out SAA with more public money when that money could far be better spent on the suffering on many South Africans. We don’t think it’s a morally acceptable choice to make and that is why we are trying to stop it,” says Hill-Lewis.

In this video, DA files urgent interdict to halt SAA bailout

Last week, government and six major labour unions reached an agreement regarding retrenchments at SAA. All unions except those representing pilots had accepted the new Voluntary Severance Package deal.

About 2 700 employees will lose their jobs. However, the retrenchment packages will be supported by a social and skills development plan through SETA for those who will lose their jobs.

The video below is a discussion of the SAA business rescue plan