Solidarity welcomes court ruling placing SA Express under business rescue

The trade union said the ruling was a result of poor management and decision making at SA Express.

Picture: SA Express.

JOHANNESBURG – Trade union Solidarity has welcomed the High Court in Johannesburg’s decision to place SA Express under business rescue.

The High Court handed down the ruling on Thursday after transport and logistics company Ziegler filed an urgent application last month in a bid to recoup R11.3 million from the airline for unpaid services from 2017.

Solidarity said the ruling was a result of poor management and decision making at SA Express. The airline’s licence was momentarily suspended in 2018 due to safety concerns.

The small-scale domestic carrier, which is a separate entity from South African Airways, was also struggling to stay afloat due to financial constraints.

Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s legal department, said Thursday’s ruling was a victory for workers.

“It’s quite a positive judgement for us and our employees at SA Express. This is also quite unfortunate for SA Express because it’s another state-owned company in a dire financial state,” he said.

The beleaguered airline said it would appeal the ruling and had already instructed its lawyers to file papers as soon as possible.

“Considering the content of the judgment, it is clear that the court went over and above what it was required and granted orders not sought by the applicant. The court has also not made any order on whether the matter was urgent or not, in circumstances when the urgency was specifically opposed,” the airline said through the statement.

“The company has instructed its attorneys to apply for leave to appeal, which leave will be filed as soon as it is considered and settled by senior counsel,” it added.