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Still no word from SAA on domestic flights as strike continues

Sacca said that trade unions would meet Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in Pretoria this morning in a fresh bid to resolve the crippling SAA strike.

Numsa and South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) members picket at the SAA Airways Park in Kempton Park on 15 November 2019. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As South African Airways (SAA) resumes six regional flights on the continent on Tuesday, there is still no word from the airline when domestic flights will take off.

A damaging strike by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) is entering its fifth day. The cash-strapped national carrier has already lost as much as R200 million due to cancelled flights since Friday.

Talks with the unions deadlocked again at the weekend.

There’s disagreement over the unions' demands for an 8% salary increase, insourcing and an end to retrenchment plans. SAA is only offering a 5.9% pay rise.

Sacca said that trade unions would meet Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in Pretoria this morning in a fresh bid to resolve the crippling SAA strike.

Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi: "We are hoping to come to the table and really negotiate. SAA has not been that enthusiastic to sit around the table because we have been called in. They promised to call us back after the mediation, so we're hoping the minister will intervene and we find an amicable solution for all parties."

Meanwhile, SAA assured passengers that their flights were safe. Numsa and Sacca warned on Sunday that passenger safety could not be guaranteed after the airline reinstated international flights.

SAA CEO Zukisa Ramasia labelled the allegations as "malicious".

"I think it is very malicious of them to attack the airline and say that our passengers must not fly the airline.”

SAA threatened legal action as the paralysing strike continues.

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