Today's Labour News

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saa thumb medium95 76BL Premium reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa has sided with public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on the future of SA Airways (SAA), rejecting finance minister Tito Mboweni’s contention that it should rather be cut loose.  

Just a day after Gordhan signalled that his preference was to nurse the airline back to health, Ramaphosa told parliament on Tuesday that closing it down would destabilise other state-owned entities (SOEs) and the broader economy.  He said the country would not get value if it tried to sell the debt-laden airline, which needed to repay or reschedule about R14bn of debt by March.  "You would have to pay someone to take SAA out of your hands," Ramaphosa said, adding that:  ‘‘If we say ‘shut it down’ it means that the debt SAA carries becomes payable immediately".  That could have implications for other SOEs and could lead to their collapse.  Ramaphosa’s comments and those of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule earlier in the day represented a rebuke to Mboweni, who returned to government in October.  Magashule said the airline’s future was being dealt with by ministers and "there is not any intention to close down SAA".  Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Alf Lees said it was clear that there were divisions in the ANC government on what to do with SAA.  "Clearly the left hand does not seem to be aligned with the right hand," he commented.

  • Read the full original of this report by Bekezela Phakathi and Linda Ensor at BL Premium (paywall access)

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