Solidarity lodges court application to place SAA in business rescue
Strike-hit SAA may not be able to pay salaries this month with the crippling seven-day-old strike having pushed the national carrier to the brink of financial collapse.
JOHANNESBURG - Trade union Solidarity on Thursday served court papers on South African Airways (SAA) and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan asking the Johannesburg High Court to put the embattled airline under business rescue.
Strike-hit SAA may not be able to pay salaries this month, with the crippling seven-day-old strike having pushed the national carrier to the brink of financial collapse.
If Solidarity’s application was successful, this would be the first time that a state enterprise would be placed under business rescue. And this would mean that the High Court could appoint a business rescue practitioner with comprehensive powers to rescue SAA.
The union said SAA was heading for liquidation which would have huge consequences for employees and this intervention could bring stability to the entity.
Solidarity’s COO Dirk Hermann said: “We are profoundly aware of the crisis SAA finds itself in. SAA is heading for liquidation, which will have huge consequences for employees, the South African economy and for taxpayers. In all, 11,000 workers will lose their jobs and a debt burden of billions of rand will have to be absorbed by the Treasury if there is no radical intervention.
“A business rescue application is the only remaining option to limit the damage. Recent events at SAA accelerated the crisis. SAA’s Day Zero is imminent. The current shareholder has lost control over finding a solution for SAA”.
Solidarity said it believed putting SAA under business rescue would bring stability to the embattled national carrier.
“The crisis in the SAA not only threatens the jobs of SAA employees, but it threatens all workers and taxpayers. Solidarity’s members are also ordinary workers who pay a portion of their hard-earned money as taxes. We also act on behalf of the approximately 500,000 members of the Solidarity movement who faithfully pay their taxes. They cannot allow their tax money to be constantly misused to subsidise struggling, ineffective state enterprises,” Hermann said.