Numsa welcomes Mango Airlines ruling against Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan. File Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Pravin Gordhan. File Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Published Dec 17, 2023


The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it welcomes the recent court ruling against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

This past week, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) applied for leave to appeal against a previous judgment, which ordered the minister to make a decision regarding whether the department supported the sale of the Mango airline.

On September 6, the High Court gave Gordhan 30 days to approve or reject the business rescue bid, indicating that the minister’s 10-month delay in deciding the matter was unreasonable and unconstitutional.

According to, Mango’s business rescue practitioner (BRP), Sipho Sono, and Numsa opposed the ministry’s attempt to appeal.

Numsa pointed to the humiliating defeat suffered by Gordhan after the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, denied him leave to appeal against the finalisation of the sale of Mango Airways.

The judgment, which was handed down on September 6, gave Gordhan 30 days to confirm whether the sale could go through or not.

According to Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, if the sale goes through, Mango will be wholly owned by a private equity partner and will no longer be owned by SAA – resulting in the department losing its shareholder status in the entity.

Hlubi-Majola said instead of implementing the order, the minister wasted taxpayers’ money by launching an application for leave to appeal which was dismissed with costs last week.

Hlubi-Majola said this would have negatively impacted employees whose livelihoods were dependent on Mango Airlines.

“Numsa was involved in this matter because we have members at Mango. Even though they have been retrenched, we negotiated with the business rescue practitioner that workers at Mango would get preferential re-employment, when the airline takes off,” she said.

According to Numsa, this judgment is a victory for the interests of workers.

“This case is a victory for the union because it protects the interests of our members and protects the future of the airline.

“Gordhan does not care that workers, the airline and the preferred bidder are in an indefinite limbo because of his reckless decisions. He is acting irrationally and he has no logical explanation for his behaviour,” the union said.

According to Independent Media, the minister has indicated that SAA will continue being a shareholder of the airline.

“The powers of the board of Mango devolve to the BRP. However, SAA (shareholder) retains its position regardless. The disposal of assets in Mango, in business rescue proceedings, must be decided with the concurrence of the shareholder and creditors,“ the minister was quoted as saying.

The Star

[email protected]