Unions optimistic SAA problems will be resolved

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The National Transport Movement (NTM) president, Mashudu Raphetha, says they are optimistic that the problems at South African Airways (SAA) will soon be resolved.

The Department of Public Enterprises says it is still talking to National Treasury on the need to urgently raise funds for South African Airways (SAA).

South African Airways has cancelled 28 local and 10 international flights.

The affected routes are return flights between Johannesburg to Cape Town as well as Johannesburg to Durban between the 20th and the 24th of January.

The cash-strapped SOE was placed under business rescue in December, requiring R4 billion to kick start the process, led by practitioner Les Matuson.

NTM president Mashudu Raphetha says, “Funding will be made available before the end of the week and we were also assured that workers will even receive salaries on time.”

“We have passed the stage where [we] blame anyone at the current moment. We are looking at government to ensure that the 10 000 direct employees at SAA, not only them but even 45 000 of those who are in the borders of the republic [are not negatively impacted],” explains Raphetha.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says those responsible for the SAA crisis should be held to account.

“We certainly disagree with the notion that we have passed the stage of blaming. We need to ensure that those who brought us to this disastrous situation are held to account. Government has consistently failed at all levels. They failed SAA; they failed workers first and foremost when they refused to support the turnaround strategy … that still has not happened,” adds Hlubi-Majola.