President Cyril Ramaphosa says he does not agree with South African Airways SAA’s decision to cancel most domestic as well as some international routes. The airline announced on Thursday that it had taken the decision together with the Business Rescue Practitioners in an effort to make SAA financially sustainable.
It also announced the possible retrenchment of workers on the affected routes.
The President says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan will soon make an announcement following SAA’s decision. President Ramaphosa was addressing journalists at the Waterkloof Airbase in Pretoria as he got ready to depart for Ethiopia to attend an African Union head of state summit.
“We are not in agreement with what the rescue practitioners have come up with that domestic flights should be cancelled and we want to find out what the rationale is because SAA is not only a great symbol for the country, but it is also an economic enabler and we would like SAA to remain a robust and successful airline. That is why we took the decision not to close SAA.”
Watch President Ramaphosa speak about the latest happenings at SAA.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says the province will seek to hold an urgent meeting with national government to discuss SAA’s decision. He says it will negatively affect KwaZulu-Natal’s economy.
“The decision is wrong because it will affect the economy. There is no evidence to prove that the route is not sustainable. If you say the route is not sustainable, why British Airways, which is the same level as SAA, would be able to manage the route and increase the volume? We will be taking up the matter with national government as well as with the board.”
Watch KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala comment on SAA’s cancellation of flights to Durban.