Enough is enough! MPs want an end to SAA bailouts

The National Assembly held a debate of national importance to discuss the recent week-long strike at the struggling airline.

FILE: MPs have also criticised the salary increase agreement of 5.9% calling it unaffordable. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Parliamentarians have called on government to put an end to South African Airways (SAA) bailouts.

On Tuesday, the National Assembly held a debate of national importance to discuss the recent week-long strike at the struggling airline.

On Friday, unions and SAA management agreed to a 5.9% pay increase retrospective to April this year.

Opposition MPs who want an end to the endless bailouts of SAA said enough was enough.

DA MP Alf Lees said: “Since 1994, the South African taxpayer has paid out bailouts that amount to R57 billion to SAA. SAA is bankrupt.”

MPs have also criticised the salary increase agreement of 5.9% calling it unaffordable.

While ANC MP Khaya Magaxa has acknowledged the problems facing SAA, he said privatisation should not be seen as a silver bullet to solve the airline's many problems.

“The call by the DA to privatise SAA and other SOEs is not a solution to all their problems. In fact, they forget the inconvenient fact that those who corrupt public sector employees and representatives are businesspeople who want to get an unfair advantage.”