Mabuza defends SAA rescue
Johannesburg - The decision to place SAA under business rescue was in the interests of its workers and to avoid allowing the national airline to close, Deputy President David Mabuza said on Tuesday.
Mabuza was addressing more than 750 SACP members at their special national congress at Kempton Park on Tuesday. He also took responsibility for the appointment of Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter.
“It was not the president’s (Cyril Ramaphosa) decision to place SAA under business rescue. It was a decision of the collective.”
He also said that the decision to appoint De Ruyter was taken by the government deployment committee, saying it was in line with the vision of non-racialism. He made these remarks following an outcry from SACP senior leaders that they were not consulted on key appointments to state organs and government.
According to Mabuza, the appointment was one of the measures to rescue the ailing state-owned entities (SOE) and to reduce unemployment.
Mabuza, however, admitted that SOEs in the country were “in a state of collapse. We are going to consult. We plan to hold a retreat where we are going to discuss the appointment of people in government and key state institutions. It was our decision to place SAA under business rescue.
“It was in the best interests of the workers at SAA. It was in the best interests of the entity not to close down.
“We are mindful of the challenges faced by Eskom. We apologise for the inconvenience suffered by residents and business people. We do not want Eskom to fail.”
The deputy president maintained that government would soon announce measures to deal with load-shedding and other issues affecting Eskom, but pleaded for patience, saying some power stations had reached the end of their generation lifespans.
To the joy of SACP members, who were complaining about being marginalised in senior positions in national, provincial and local government, Mabuza revealed that the ANC national executive committee (NEC) had endorsed the new configured ANC Alliance structure.
“The configured Alliance partner papers were tabled before the NEC. There is no divorce. No one is having a problem with the document. We are going to address all the issues raised by the alliance partners.”
Mabuza highlighted that the government had already drafted a programme to have regular Alliance Political Council meetings.
According to the new configured Alliance partners, the parties agreed to establish meaningful consultation to attain consensus on policy direction.
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, who had earlier addressed his supporters on their agreement with the ANC, said his party “has achieved its full mandate” in drawing up the reconfigured Alliance.