KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala

You are creating unemployment in KZN, Premier slams SAA business rescue practitioners

By SIHLE MAVUSO Time of article published Feb 25, 2020

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Durban - The war of words between the KZN government and SAA's business rescue practitioners is heating up. The KZN government is vehemently opposed to SAA closing its route to Durban - a decision which comes to effect at the end of February.

The local and provincial government fear that the cutting of the flights will hit its tourism industry hard. The provincial government also fear that cancelling SAA flights to Durban's King Shaka International Airport will hamper its ambitions to compete with Johannesburg and Cape Town as gateway cities to the African continent. 

In the latest salvo aimed at the SAA’s business rescue practitioners, who came up with the plan, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala questioned the practitioner's motive, saying they are seemingly creating unemployment in the country while securing employment for people in foreign lands. 

Speaking to the media after opening a three-day government lekgotla in Durban, Zikalala repeated statements that the closure of the route which would come into effect at the end of February was “economic sabotage” that they would not accept. 

“We believe if they will still continue to talk about closing flight(s), shutting down on the flight(s) to Durban it will amount to economic sabotage and we are not going to take it easy. It is something we are not going to take it easy because it is not based on scientific reports and we are not going to take that. We are not going to accept it because it will add to unemployment. 

“If you say you want to close SAA (routes) you mean people who are South Africans, who are here in South Africa must become unemployed but people who are overseas must remain employed by the very same SAA. Who are we serving as the country and the province? We create unemployment domestically and then safeguard job opportunit(ies) in the foreign lands. Those are things we are going to take lightly,” Zikalala fumed.  

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has questioned why SAA is creating unemployment within South Africa while creating it in foreign lands.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has questioned why SAA is creating unemployment within South Africa while creating it in foreign lands.

SAA will also cut routes to East London and Port Elizabeth.

The struggling national carrier would also reduce flights to Cape Town. 

While the other provinces have not made noise about the termination of the routes, the KZN government argues that airport statistics indicate that Durban’s King Shaka International Airport has been growing by leaps and bounds, so the closing down of the route does not make sense. 

Political Bureau 

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