Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says his department is negotiating with South African Airways (SAA) Business Rescue Practitioners for some of the aircraft still owned by the airline, to be used in the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaking during a briefing to the Public Enterprises Committee, Gordhan said it was important for the image of the country for this to happen.

Earlier this week the first batch of drugs from India arrived on an Emirates Airlines plane.

SAA was placed on business rescue after it went bankrupt and could not meet its financial obligations.

Gordhan says they are asking the Business Rescue Practitioners for some of its bigger aircraft to be used.

“As I am sure all of you will agree that our brand as a national flag carrier should be the one to bring this important commodity here and also be able to travel across the continent to deliver that product.”

On Monday, the Labour Court in Johannesburg reserved judgment in the case regarding the dispute between unions and SAA Business Rescue Practitioners.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) last week filed an urgent court application to declare unlawful the practitioners’ decision not to pay union members their salaries.

The unions want the practitioners to pay outstanding three months’ salaries to their members.

According to the unions, their members have not been paid for eight months and only requested a portion of their salaries to be paid.

SAA unions filed an urgent wage application at Labour Court