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South African Airways to undergo radical restructuring

Christian Fernsby |
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said South African Airways (SAA) would undergo radical restructuring.

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Gordhan said his department was locked in intense discussions with the embattled airline’s board and executive committee over the past week to secure a loan guarantee of at least R2 billion in order for the airline to continue trading.

The minister added that SAA could not continue in its current form after it signed a wage deal with trade unions, which ended an eight-day strike.

The recent strike by the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa was over wages.

As a result, short-term insurance company Sanlam said last week that it would stop selling ticket insurance on SAA bookings.

Almost simultaneously, Flight Centre Travel Group said it would stop selling SAA tickets. Other private companies that do business with SAA were making similar decisions.

Meanwhile, Sacca said trade unions had not been consulted about the radical restructuring process at SAA.

Sacca president Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said: “We are very angry about it and that he put the whole fate of SAA at the feet of Sacca and Numsa. Since 2015, we have been making noise about corruption at SAA; this did not happen overnight.”

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