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SAA liquidation postponed for now


Agreement on shelving liquidation proposals pending further negotiations

EMBATTLED South African Airways (SAA) has received a reprieve with the business rescue practitioners (BRP) shelving their liquidation proposals until next Friday, pending further negotiations with all parties concerned, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Saturday.

On Saturday morning, Gordhan convened a high-level meeting between senior government leadership and representatives of the SAA unions – the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), the South African Airways Pilots’ Association (Saapa), the National Transport Movement (NTM), the Aviation Union of Southern Africa (Auasa), Solidarity, and the non-unionised staff formation (SAA Labour Unions), the public enterprises department said in a statement.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the status of the business rescue process, finalise a leadership compact, the process to give input to the business rescue plan, and how the impact of the business rescue process on employees could be mitigated.

In respect of the immediate threat of liquidation, it was agreed with the BRPs that they would not consider an application for liquidation and, in addition, they would suspend the section 189 process and offer to employees until the close of business next Friday, May 1, the department said.

This decision was based on a briefing to the BRPs on the constructive work being done in what was referred to as “The 12 Leadership Consultative Forum”, chaired by Gordhan.

The parties agreed in principle to a groundbreaking leadership compact which committed the leadership of the DPE and unions to a new shared vision, strategic objectives, structures and processes for meaningful engagement, strategic equity partners, including employees, and other elements aimed at building new, fundamentally different co-operative relationships based on a spirit of strategic partnerships.

The vision agreed by the parties was “a national asset which is internationally competitive, viable, sustainable, and profitable”. The leadership recognised the enormity of the challenge, but were unequivocally committed to saving SAA and shining the torch to a new world post Covid-19 in which SAA was a key catalyst for investment and job creation, the department said in the statement.

– African News Agency (ANA)