Trade unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA), say they will take legal action to prevent the liquidation of South African Airways (SAA) and have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

The unions have expressed shock over Mboweni and the National Treasury’s statement that SAA and SA Express should be closed down.

The unions have rejected SAA’s business rescue plan in the lead up to a creditors meeting later this month, which will decide whether the plan will be accepted.

NUMSA Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says the unions will not accept SAA’s demise.

“NUMSA and SACCA will take legal action to prevent the liquidation of SAA. [Minister Tito] Mboweni has effectively confirmed that he supports the liquidation of SAA and SA Express and the most recent position he and his department adopted directly contradicts the official position of the government, where minister [Pravin] Gordhan has formally adopted the position that DPE is against the liquidation of SAA. NUMSA and SACCA will not tolerate these irresponsible comments and this is why we call on President Ramaphosa to immediately intervene and fire Mboweni for his reckless statements. As NUMSA and SACCA we will under no circumstances accept the liquidation of SAA.”

In the audio below is NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola:

Below is the full statement by NUMSA and SACCA:

Leadership Consultative Forum collapsed

On Sunday last week, the Leadership Consultative Forum, which was meant to put together a new turnaround strategy for SAA, collapsed following the withdrawal of the Department of Public Enterprises.

The Department has accused unions of negotiating in bad faith and failing to put employee interests first.

However,  SACCA and the NUMSA accused the Department of being disingenuous and lying about the business rescue plan.

In the video below, Kgathatso Tlhakudi, Acting Director-General of the Department of Public Enterprises, speaks to SABC News about the SAA issue: