Political parties are concerned about the reported looming retrenchments at the South African Airways (SAA).
DA MP, Alf Lees, says the company’s financial distress hasn’t been a secret.
“We are very worried about the employees of the SAA who are sitting at the edge of their seats, not knowing what their future is, and the fact that they need to get what is due to them in terms of retrenchments. But not only that because of the problems of cash flow at SAA. SAA management, like at SAA Express, might not have paid the unemployment contributions to the unemployment commissioner,” says Lees.
The UDM says it would be unfortunate if the allegations of retrenchments at South African Airways are true, whilst Parliament is still waiting for the entity’s business rescue plan.
UDM Chief Whip, Nqabayomzi Nkwankwa says there is no way that there can be discussions about workers being laid off, if it’s not presented to Parliament beforehand.
Nkwankwa is calling on the Public Enterprises committee to urgently meet and discuss the financial woes of the national carrier.
“The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises and the Standing Committee on Finance … in February a resolution was taken that the business rescue practitioners would have to table their business rescue plan before these committees for considerations and adoptions. As far as we are concerned, that has not happened. And because that has not happened, under no circumstances that we can then begin discussion, talks about retrenchments before we have seen and considered and probably amended the business rescue plan.”
In this video below, aviation specialist Phuthego Mojapele talks about leaked SAA documents:
Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts says the latest development at SAA are a manifestation of a more profound crisis.
Unconfirmed media reports have revealed that SAA, through its business rescue practitioners, has offered severance packages to its entire workforce of around 5 000.
Last week, the government had declined a further financial injection of R10 billion, to rescue the ailing airline.
In this video below, government declines SAA’s funding:
Scopa Chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says they welcome government’s decision to turn down the financial request, because SAA’s problems are more complex than just money issues.
“The issues are far more deeper than just cash injections, and money alone would not solve SAA’s problem. Tough decisions lie ahead for the executive. And we think that within the necessary framework of oversight, we will be able to interact with the executive so that we are able to asses the way forward. But what is clear is that SAA is in trouble, and what is clear is that there will be job looses and what is clear is that restructuring can’t be avoided,” says Hlengwa.
In this video below MPs call for those responsible for looting SAA to be brought to book:
Earlier Congress of the People (COPE) called for the prosecution of executives who, the party says, have looted the SAA. The party has lamented the possible retrenchment of thousands of workers from SAA after a leaked document of the airline’s rescue practitioners emerged.
In it, the practitioners are proposing to give severance packages to the entire workforce.
The move comes after government said it wouldn’t provide more funds for the airline’s rescue efforts.
The proposal has been described as the latest sign that state-owned SAA is on the brink of collapse.
Cabinet is expected to deliberate on the future of the national carrier on Monday.
COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says those involved in bringing the airline on its knees should be held to account.
“So sad that those who have looted SAA are roaming the streets. Not a single one are behind bars for stealing millions of rands from SAA. Very painful that more than 4 000 workers must lose their jobs. All these criminals that have looted SAA must face the full might of the law.”
In the video below, Ian Cruikshank weighs in on SAA:
Below is a graphic on SAA fact sheet: