The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) says its encouraged that labour unions, and representatives of non-unionised managers and ground staff, have agreed to accept the South African Airways (SAA) voluntary severance packages (VSPs) which will be supported by a social plan and skills development programme for employees who will be retrenched.

During a Labour Consultative Forum (LCF) meeting, convened on Tuesday by labour unions, the parties agreed “that they had no objection to SAA/DPE offering to individual employees a Voluntary Severance Package as proposed by the DPE”. The position of the SAA Pilots Association (SAAPA) in respect of the VSPs remain unclear at this stage. SAAPA has indicated that they do not oppose the outcome of today’s LCF meeting but the union is seeking to embark on a parallel process through which they want to consult the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) for SAA about the severance packages.

The DPE welcomes this endorsement of the VSPs by the National Transport Movement (NTM), the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), the Aviation Union of Southern Africa (AUSA), Solidarity, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and representatives of SAA non-unionised managers and ground staff.