Unions picket outside Public Enterprises offices accusing SAA of plans to cut further jobs

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The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) says South African Airways (SAA) plans to cut another 200 jobs. The unions picketed outside the offices of the Department of Public Enterprises in Pretoria for the government to intervene.

The affected employees had been those who chose not to take voluntary severance packages during SAA’s business rescue process and opted to be placed on a government-run training scheme.

“A group of 225 individuals placed on training lay-off schemes have gone for the entire year without training and they were told just yesterday that they no longer have jobs,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, Sacca President.

Last month, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said the future of state-owned enterprises would be determined by the value they create; and whether they can function effectively without government bailouts.

Delivering his maiden Budget Speech in Cape Town, Godongwana announced zero funding for SOEs, adding that National Treasury was set to outline criteria for their funding during the 2023/2024 financial year.

The Treasury Ministry said government had emphasised the need for SOEs to develop and implement sustainable turnaround plans.

“SOEs need to develop and implement sustainable turnaround plans. The future of our state-owned companies is under consideration by the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises Council. Some state-owned companies will be retained, while others will be rationalised or consolidated. This, Madam Speaker, is what we call tough love,” added Godongwana.

Over R16 million was set aside for South African Airways in the 2020 Medium-Term Budget to settle state‐guaranteed debt and interest costs. Government said R14.6 billion of this amount had been paid by February, and the remaining R1.8 million was set to be paid in 2022/2023.

FILE VIDEO: SAA workers picket over 35% wage cut, bloated management