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Sacca not surprised SAA unable to pay salaries on time this month

A screenshot of what appears to be an internal correspondence about delays in the payment of salaries went viral on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.

Picture: @flysaa_care/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) employees have been advised to make arrangements with their banks amid the airline's warning that it could not guarantee that salaries would be paid on time this month.

A screenshot of what appeared to be an internal correspondence about delays in the payment of salaries went viral on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.

The statement read: “SAA will unfortunately not be in a position to fulfil salary obligations to employees on the scheduled payment date.”

The state-owned enterprise has not yet been able to secure R2 billion to keep it afloat after it said earlier this week that a number of banks had agreed to loan the required money.

The South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) said it is not surprised that SAA would not be able to pay salaries on time this month amid a crippling strike.

Workers at the airline have been on strike for exactly a week now, demanding a pay hike.

It is estimated that SAA has been losing R50 million a day during the strike, which began last Friday.

They are also opposed to SAA’s restructuring plans that could result in job losses.

The embattled airline, which has tried in vain to negotiate with unions, said it continued to try to secure the required funding to meet its financial obligations.

Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said: “This is not the first time this has happened. It happened earlier on this year. Salaries were delayed, it’s not that much of a shock and had to explain this to members and we’ve done the same this time.”

SUSPENDED ROUTE TO HONG KONG

But the national carrier’s problems continue to grow.

The airline was also in the process of reassessing it's suspended Johannesburg to Hong Kong route as it continued to lose money to the strike.

It suspended flights to Hong Kong from Saturday until 14 December because of the financial losses and the unrest in the city.

The airline said it had been forced to ground flights to Hong Kong for now because it was losing money.

SAA said passengers who have booked flights to the city would be contacted to make alternative arrangements.

Spokesperson Tlali Tlali said: “When you do an analysis, Hong Kong is one of the routes in the context of our international route network that is making losses. We are looking into the situation.”

CALLING FOR FAIR SALARY OFFER

Sacca said it was taking what it called a fair salary offer back to members on Friday morning.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Sacca are demanding that the cash-strapped airline stop with its restructuring plans, which could result in job losses.

The embattled airline which has tried in vain to negotiate with unions said it continues to try to secure required funding to meet its financial obligations.

Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said: “Once our members give us a thumbs up, the strike might be over but it’s up to the members that mandated us.”

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