BusinessLive reports that government said on Saturday that SA Airways’ (SAA’s) business rescue practitioners (BRPs) have agreed not to consider liquidating the ailing state-owned airline and also to suspend consultations about a structured wind down proposal that would include culling the entire workforce.
The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) said the decision was based on a briefing to the BRPs on the work being done by a “leadership consultative forum” chaired by public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan and involving representatives of unions at the airline as well as non-unionised employees. The parties agreed to work towards a “national asset which is internationally competitive, viable, sustainable and profitable”.
The BRPs advised last week that there were two choices: either implement a winding down process that would involve retrenching all employees or apply for liquidation. The former would entail the termination of employment by agreement, which would give employees a better say on termination pay than a liquidation, but would require that employees provide their consent, which they have not done. It is not clear what would be achieved by next Friday, and whether failure to come up with a workable alternative will mean employees would have to accept the existing plan – and thus the job cuts.
Meantime, SAA does not have funds to pay salaries beyond April and the government has refused to give it more cash.