Business Maverick: Brinkmanship as SAA and unions head for showdown in latest ailing SOE scrap

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Business Maverick: Brinkmanship as SAA and unions head for showdown in latest ailing SOE scrap By Ed Stoddard

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has previously signalled that SAA, which is insolvent after losses amounting to R28-billion over the past 13 years, was no longer a sacred cow that was going to suck state cash endlessly with no return. Unions may now push the company beyond the point of no return, which would give Mboweni at least something to show the ratings agencies when he presents his Budget in February.

The airline said it had scheduled a meeting for Thursday which would “hopefully resolve the issue” in which case they might reinstate flights. There are are also ongoing wage talks. SAA is offering a 5.9% increase, subject to the availability of funds from lenders, while Numsa and Sacca are demanding hikes of 8%. About 3,000 of the airline’s 5,000-strong workforce are members of Sacca or Numsa.

SAA has long been a drain on the public purse which, as Mboweni noted in October, subsidises the “middle-class and wealthy flying around the country and other parts of the world, rather than the ordinary workers who sit in old trains from the townships every day, often getting stuck and being late for work”.

Source: News Formal (newsformal.com)

 

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