Charles Cilliers
1 minute read
23 Apr 2020
6:02 pm

SAA’s business rescuers issue notice that most staff will need to be retrenched

Charles Cilliers

The practitioners have advised that the airline is fast running out of money and options.

An SAA plane at OR Tambo International Airport, 14 November 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney

In a letter to all affected parties on Thursday, SAA’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs), Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana advised that almost all the airline’s employees face imminent retrenchment – or possibly worse if they don’t agree to it.

This follows government telling them that it could not extend more credit to the embattled state-owned airline.

The entity does not have the funds to continue as a going concern beyond 30 April, said the BRPs.

The BRPs advised in their letter that if the retrenchment process could not happen successfully, then the airline would probably simply be liquidated and the business rescue process would have to be discontinued.

Employees’ service would be terminated in a wind-down process of the airline with severance packages being agreed on with staff.

The BRPs have said they would need the mutual consent of the staff in order to wrap up the retrenchments in time, considering that funds appear to be running out fast.

They said that an appeal to government to fund retrenchment packages had thus far been unsuccessful and that employees and their unions had only until Friday (tomorrow) to agree on a collective agreement that was proposed on 17 April.

They did, however, add that any further questions posed by affected parties through their committees on Friday would be answered by Tuesday, 28 April.

“The lockdown remains in place and SAA has no funds to continue trading and cannot pay a significant salary bill beyond April 2020,” they said.

The coronavirus has grounded most airlines worldwide, though SAA was already facing serious financial difficulties prior to the pandemic.




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