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SACP wants ANC chair Gwede Mantashe disciplined over SAA remarks

The ANC national chairperson told a party gathering at the weekend that SAA should be sold off if it could not generate money, saying the state-owned airline only serviced the elite. This was contrary to the ANC’s official position which was that the struggling airline should be saved.

FILE: ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe addresses the media during a press briefing at Luthuli House in Johannesburg. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) is calling for African National Congress (ANC) national chairperson Gwede Mantashe to be disciplined for expressing his personal views on South African Airways (SAA), which contradicted the governing party’s position.

Mantashe told an ANC gathering at the weekend in the Eastern Cape that SAA should be sold off if it could not generate money, saying the state-owned airline only serviced the elite.

“The working class use buses and taxis. If the money we are using to subsidise SAA was used for the buses, taxis and trains, we would have a case. This thing of continuously pumping money into SAA – which services the elite, middle class and higher class – is a problem,” Mantashe was quoted as saying by City Press.

This was contrary to the ANC’s official position which was that the struggling airline should be saved.

The SACP said Mantashe showed ill-discipline when he expressed a personal view on SAA and went against the approach the ANC, SACP and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) agreed to.

“We disagree with Mantashe and we will engage with him,” said SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo.

Mashilo said Mantashe would be the subject of an alliance secretariat meeting on Tuesday.

“We have a secretariat meeting of the alliance where the issue of SAA will be one of the two main agenda items. We will take matters from there,” he said.

The communist party also took a swipe at SAA’s business rescue practitioners for cancelling domestic flights, saying they should remember that SAA went into voluntary business rescue and was still under state ownership.

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