Pay SAA staff their dues and close the airline down
SAA has been grounded for almost a year. It's time to end false hope.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has written to the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, calling on the government to pay SAA staff what’s due to them and then close down the airline.
In November 2020, SAA’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) told Parliament that retrenching all staff would cost R2.8 billion instead of the R2.2 billion contained in the original business rescue plan.
In our letter to the Minister, OUTA calls on the Department of Public Enterprises and SAA’s BRPs to do the following:
Pay employees the retrenchment packages that are due to them;
Expeditiously settle SAA’s debt with its creditors according to the business rescue plan;
Settle unpaid salaries;
Retrench all remaining staff; and
Close and wind-down all SAA’s activities.
“Our country cannot afford to lose more money on this failed state-owned entity. We therefore call on government to recognise the dire reality at the national carrier and conclude matters as a matter of urgency. This is in everybody’s interest, from taxpayers to staff,” says Julius Kleynhans, Executive Director of OUTA’s Public Governance Division.
According to Kleynhans, the current impasse on SAA’s future creates false hope and unfair expectations among SAA employees, who have not been paid their salaries since March 2020. “In reality, SAA has been grounded for almost a year. Government should close this unfortunate chapter now and rather use public money earmarked for future SAA bailouts to the advantage of all South Africans,” says Kleynhans.
OUTA's letter to the Minister is here.
A soundclip with comment by Julius Kleynhans is here.