SAA forced to wait for restructuring decision
JOHANNESBURG - National carrier SAA will have to wait until next week to find out how it will be restructured after its business rescue practitioners (BRPs) asked for a fifth extension to table their plan.
Rescuers Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana yesterday said that they had been consulting with stakeholders, including creditors, on aspects of the draft plan they submitted last week.
They said the final plan would be released next Monday. Last month, the BRPs asked for at least R21billion in bailouts form the government. However, employees decided to consult through the Leadership Compact Forum (LCF) that was set up by the Department of Public Enterprises. The rescuers said that lawyers representing SAA workers’ unions wrote to them last week objecting to the publication of the plan on Monday, pending further engagements in the LCF.
“However, the practitioners thought it would not be appropriate to proceed with the publication of the business rescue plan without conveying the request of the unions that represent a majority of the SAA employees,” they said in a statement.
Labour law expert Michael Bagraim described the request for an extension as “the most ridiculous exercise”.
“The circumstances have not changed, and they are merely asking the government for more money. The state is almost bankrupt, and they are expected to keep paying the piling-up bills for SAA,” Bagraim said. “Eventually, they won’t have any money at all to pay for severance payment if they have to liquidate.”