DPE supports SAA’s administrators' bid to reduce pilots’ high salaries, perks

The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) issued a 48-hour notice on Wednesday to prevent nearly 400 pilots from accessing the company’s premises until they agreed to new employment terms and conditions.

FILE: SAA planes. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on Thursday said one of the critical areas for a restructured South African Airways (SAA) to get off the ground was to reduce the high-cost structure caused by high salaries and perks implemented by the South African Pilots Association’s (Saapa) Regulating Agreement (RA).

The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) issued a 48-hour notice on Wednesday to prevent nearly 400 pilots from accessing the company’s premises until they agreed to new employment terms and conditions.

This is part of efforts to rescue the airline and form a smaller entity with slashed operation costs.

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The DPE said it fully supported the move by the administrators.

“The Department of Public Enterprises supports the decision by South African Airways (SAA) Business Rescue Practitioners to lockout members of the union, the South African Airways Pilots Association (Saapa) after protracted negotiations failed to yield agreements on new conditions of employment for a future restructured airline,” said the DPE’s spokesperson Richard Mantu in a statement.

“As a shareholder on behalf of government, the department believes that one of the critical areas for a restructured SAA to get off the ground is to reduce the high-cost structure caused by onerous contracts and high salaries and perks implemented under Saapa’s RA.”

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