The Department of Public Enterprises says they cannot afford a further cash injection for the financially embattled airline, SA Express, because they haven’t received any Business Plan.
Acting Director-General for the department, Kgathatso Tlhakudi says the plan as they have requested hasn’t been received yet.
Tlhakudi says they need a plan from the Business Practitioners in order to help the airline and its employees.
Hundreds of SA Express employees marched to the DPE offices in Pretoria today to demand answers from government regarding their salaries. The employees have not been paid for three months.
Government has until Tuesday to oppose the provisional liquidation of SA Express.
“We need to understand what the challenges were at Express. And in this building here, we had numerous meetings with the business rescue partition’s but was actually brought in by an entity which was said was over-invoicing express. But even today, we don’t have those invoices. We asked them, so that we have a base in which we can step into the front on your behalf and we have not received them,” says Tlhakudi.
SA Express provisional liquidation
SA Express employees will picket outside the offices of the Public Enterprises Department in Pretoria on Monday.
The employees picketed outside the Union Buildings last week to demand their pay. The frustrated employees want government to respond and delay the provisional liquidation of SA express before a final order of liquidation is made.
Government has until tomorrow to oppose the liquidation. The High Court in Pretoria placed SA express under provisional liquidation last month after the airline’s Business Rescue Practitioners filed an urgent court application.
Employees were told their salaries could not be paid because the airline was facing financial difficulties.
Thabisile Sikakane who is the employees’ representative says they are hoping that shareholders will accept their memorandum.
“DPE is our shareholder and we are hoping they will be there to accept our memorandum which addresses three things; one, pay employers salaries; two, retrench employees and pay retrenchment packages as required by labour law; three, delay liquidation until all staff have been retrenched and proper salaries paid through funding from DPE. This will enable faster access to pension and provident fund money for employees. The government has taken care of all other SOE’s beside us,” says Sikakane.
SA Express employees picket over salaries: