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Liquidation the only option left for SAA, say some MPs

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Alf Lees said that the business rescue process should ideally have ended in December and the rescue team should have applied to court for liquidation back then.

A South African airways flight takes off as another one is parked in a bay on the tarmac on 25 May, 2010 at the Johannesburg O.R Tambo International airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Some members of Parliament said that the only option left for South African Airways (SAA) was liquidation.

This comes after a vote on a restructuring plan was delayed until July after creditors and unions adjourned talks.

It also follows a decision by the Department of Public Enterprises to withdraw from the Leadership Consultative Forum working on a business model for a new and restructured SAA.

The Department of Public Enterprises said that instead of creating conditions for attracting investment and skilled South Africans, three unions had put SAA on a path towards possible liquidation.

The department said that unions had effectively aligned themselves with a competitor who stood to benefit substantially should SAA be liquidated.

However the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Alf Lees, a member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), said that liquidation was increasingly looking like the only option.

"Now it seems to me that we've hit the wall and liquidation is the only option," Lees said.

He said that the business rescue process should ideally have ended in December and the rescue team should have applied to court for liquidation back then.

"They should have then done what the law required of them to do and applied to court for liquidation, so that step now remains."

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