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Labour questions motive behind SAA Board’s refusal to support any capital injection for Mango airlines

“SAA as the sole shareholder of Mango was not in a position to provide, nor to motivate to SAA’s shareholder for any capital injection required to return Mango to commercial operations,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, Sacca president said. Picture: Mike Dibetsoe.

“SAA as the sole shareholder of Mango was not in a position to provide, nor to motivate to SAA’s shareholder for any capital injection required to return Mango to commercial operations,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, Sacca president said. Picture: Mike Dibetsoe.

Published Nov 8, 2021

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Amid an impending job bloodbath in th aviation sector, organised labour has questioned the motive behind the South African Airways (SAA) board’s decision not to support any capital injection for Mango airlines to resume operations.

The South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the Mango Pilots Association (MPA), say SAA was forcing the hand of the Mango Business rescue practitioner, Sipho Sono, to keep Mango grounded, despite desperate attempts to get Mango flights back into the sky by December 2021.

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“SAA as the sole shareholder of Mango was not in a position to provide, nor to motivate to SAA’s shareholder for any capital injection required to return Mango to commercial operations,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, Sacca president said.

Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said labour was flabbergasted by the loss of at least 3200 direct jobs at SAA, and another 1850 are expected to be cut at SAA Technical.

This follows the loss of more than 800 jobs at SA Express.

"It is unfathomable that this government and its ministers keep claiming that they are doing everything in their power to create jobs, and yet, in this instance, (Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Minister Pravin) Gordhan is clearly driving a job loss blood bath within the DPE.

“ These entities can and should be saved but there is no political will and therefore, once again, workers and their families are going to be paying the full cost for mismanagement and corruption through job losses" she said.

Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said it was apparent to labour that Mango was a great threat to the new SAA version 2 and its proposed Takatso deal.

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The Takatso Consortium, is the new strategic equity partner for SAA.

"It seems this deal cannot go ahead as long as Mango survives. Sacca recently highlighted massive problems that still exist at SAA which SAA management and the board are refusing to resolve. There has been no transparency in the deal at all. And this is why we must ask, who stands to benefit from the Takatso deal if Mango fails?" she said.

Labour said it was waiting for answers from Gordhan.

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