The Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

Cape Town - Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has reiterated that South African Airways has no money.

This follows a statement by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in Parliament this week that SAA may not be able to pay workers at the end of the month.

Mthembu, told the media on Thursday, that while they implore the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and SAA to find an amicable solution to the strike the airline has no money.

“If you come to us looking for money the Minister of Finance (Tito Mboweni) has spoken, there is no money. That doesn’t stop workers to say ‘we want a better deal.’ It doesn’t mean the fact that we don’t have money colleagues who feel they are underpaid should not go on strike,” said Mthembu.

However, if there was an agreement between the unions and employers a deal could be struck how salary hikes could be implemented.

“Details of how such arrangements are made we leave that to the negotiators. The reality is that the economy is not performing. SAA has not performed, it has no money. The Minister (Gordhan) when briefing Cabinet did dwell on these issues of liquidity and non-liquidity,” said Mthembu. 

Mthembu said SAA and other state-owned entities have not been performing in the last few years.

SAA has not made a profit in the last eight years. The national carrier has raked in losses of R28 billion in the past few years.

Political Bureau