Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Unions in court battle with government over SAA's future

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Sep 18, 2020

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Johannesburg – Two of the unions representing employees of troubled national carrier SA Airways are gearing up for yet another court battle as the fight over saving the ailing airline intensifies.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) announced on Friday that they intend to oppose the imminent liquidation of SAA caused by the government’s failure to advance promised funding to the airline.

On Thursday, SAA’s business rescue practitioners, Siviwe Dongwana and Les Matuson, indicated that the government had not fulfilled its commitment to provide funding to the airline.

Dongwana and Matuson have called a meeting with stakeholders today to deliberate on SAA’s future.

However, Numsa and Sacca have warned against the liquidation of SAA and another state-owned regional airline, SA Express.

According to the unions, they are challenging the government for not giving effect to the law by failing to provide funding for SAA and SA Express as well as failing to ensure that they are viable and sustainable

Numsa and Sacca have issued notices to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office, the Department of Public Enterprises, the National Treasury and the office of National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise notifying them that they intend to legally challenge the liquidation of both SAA and SA Express.

”The official notice was sent by our attorneys’ earlier today (on Thursday) to all parties concerned. We have given them a deadline until Friday, September 18, 2020 to provide an unequivocal undertaking, which translates into concrete and immediate action to avoid the liquidation or winding-down of SAA and SA Express,” the unions said.

They also warned that failure to respond would mean that they would have no choice but to approach the high court and institute the necessary legal proceedings to prevent the liquidation of both airlines and to hold the government, the executive and Parliament to its statutory and constitutional obligations.

Numsa and Sacca have organised a picket outside SAA Park in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, on Friday to protest against the government’s failure to provide funds for SAA.

Political Bureau

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