Johannesburg - Employees of Air Chefs, a division of SA Airways, are facing disciplinary action following the dumping of mounds of food, the Sunday Times reported.
In one weekend in December, Air Chefs dumped 840 lemon meringues, 250 cheese snack foccacias, 300 turkey croissants, almost 1000 bread rolls and 150 millefeuille desserts, the newspaper reported.
According to the report this was weeks before the airline's bosses asked the government for an emergency R550 million guarantee to cover operational costs and fuel.
The Sunday Times reported that between December 13 and 20, staff dumped 90kg of beef sausage, 38kg of beef, 160kg of egg pulp, 380kg of vegetables, 59kg of cheese and 2040 walnut pastries and savoury biscuits.
SAA attributed the wastage to ordering too much food, pilfering, fraud and inadequate stock control.
Food used to go to charities, but this was stopped because unions demanded transparency in the selection of the charities.
According to the report a forensic audit was being conducted into fraud and the extent of the waste, estimated to cost the airline about R5 million a month.
SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali told Sunday Times that Air Chefs produced 22 000 meals for 125 flights daily. He confirmed disciplinary proceedings had been instituted against some employees.
Air Chefs relied on SAA for funding. It was paid R99 million in 2012 and would reportedly ask the airline for a further R49 million.
An intervention team was sent to Air Chefs and another SAA department, to deal with losses. The airline's board however cancelled the consultants' contract two months later. - Sapa