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Troubled SAA desperately needs cash injection

It’s up to Treasury and the Public Enterprises Department to decide on a lifeline for the airline which has managed to fly out of a recent strike but not out of its financial woes.

FILE: 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

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) desperately needs another cash injection from the state.

It’s up to Treasury and the Public Enterprises Department to decide on a lifeline for the airline which has managed to fly out of a recent strike but not out of its financial woes.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts, meanwhile, has taken a dim view of SAA officials not pitching up for a meeting on Wednesday.

The national carrier’s management was supposed to explain to the committee why it's failed to submit its annual financial statements for two years.

Scopa has now taken a decision to direct SAA to submit the required information on its financial statements by next week.

Chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Scopa was considering a legal opinion from Parliament on the non-submission of financial statements.

“The committee resolved to visit SAA next Thursday.”

He said in the meantime, the committee would be engaging with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to try to assist in the process of getting the airline back to financial health.

SALARIES

Just days after receiving pay increases, SAA staff have only been paid half their salaries for this month.

The airline managed to fly out of a crippling strike, but its financial situation remains dire.

Employees will receive the rest of their money, as well as a 13th cheque next week.

Union Numsa said they could not be blamed for problems at the parastatal. The union said the board was to blame for problems at the parastatal.

Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said government must focus on addressing various problems.

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