Today's Labour News

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saa thumb medium95 76BL PREMIUM reports that Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan indicated on Monday that he did not believe SAA, which has lost about R18bn in the past four financial years and is dependent on state guarantees, should be sold.  

This was in contrast to finance minister Tito Mboweni, who told an investor conference in New York last week that the country was "unlikely to sort out the situation" and that the airline should be closed down.  Mboweni’s words attracted a predictably furious response from trade unions.  In the medium-term budget policy statement in October, the airline received another R5bn to repay debt.  Gordhan addressed hundreds of employees at the airline’s Kempton Park headquarters on Monday, when he was asked to "pronounce clearly" that the airline would not be privatised.  "The South African public is losing patience with SAA and doesn’t think it is viable," Gordhan said. "It’s for you, working together, to prove you can make this a good business."  He said it was simply "survive or die", adding that “you can survive well, if you do the right things."  The national carrier has been looking for an equity partner as it seeks to cut its losses.  Gordhan on Monday told SAA staff that the time would come when they would call on anyone interested in buying around a 25% share of the airline to come forward, but that was not now.  The state would remain the majority shareholder, he stated.

  • Read the full original of this report by Genevieve Quintal at BL Premium (paywall access)

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