Unions welcome R3.5-billion SAA bailout

2020-Feb-05   06:35

Unions welcome R3.5-billion SAA bailout
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) have welcomed the R3.5 billion bailout for South African Airways (SAA).

- Silver Sibiya

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) have welcomed the R3.5 billion bailout for South African Airways (SAA).

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) confirmed last week that it’s extended a R3.5 billion load to SAA so the national carrier can meet its immediate financial needs.

The funding has been criticized by some because of the many bailouts that SAA has received in the past.

Numsa spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, said they don’t want SAA to be dependent on bailouts.

“We do not want an SAA which is dependent on bailouts. We want an SAA which is viable. But if SAA collapses ten thousand workers and their families will suffer because of job losses. And we know that on average, workers support between five and seven extended family members, which means up to seventy thousand people may be affected,” said Hlubi-Majola in a statement on Monday.

“This is against a backdrop of extremely high unemployment, inequality and poverty and a stagnating economy. It would be extremely reckless and negligent for this government to allow SAA or any other State Owned Entity (SOE) to collapse,” she said.

The trade unions said SAA is under business rescue in part because it spends R25 billion on procurement per annum.

The national airline has received about R60 billion of taxpayers money since 1994.

SAA has not been able to publish its audited financial statements for the past two financial years.

Search Newsnote