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SAA rescue hits snag as union demands more say

Numsa wants two business-rescue practitioners.
Les Matuson of Matuson & Associates has been appointed as SAA’s administrator. Image: Shutterstock

Efforts to save South African Airways by placing it into bankruptcy protection have hit a snag, with labour unions demanding more say over who will administer the carrier.

The government announced on Wednesday that SAA would be put into voluntary business rescue and be given R4 billion in loans and debt guarantees to keep it afloat, while an independent manager tries to turn it around. That process has begun and the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission has named Les Matuson of Matuson & Associates as SAA’s administrator, the airline said in a statement on Friday.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association, which represent about 3,000 SAA workers, said that while they supported the process, it had been rushed. There had been inadequate consultation and the company’s board was still managing it from behind the scenes, the unions said.

“We want another business practitioner who is going to work with the one who has already been appointed” with the support of the unions, said Numsa spokeswoman Phakamile Hlubi-Majola. “We don’t think there is anything wrong with having two business-rescue practitioners. This is the first time we have ever had a state-owned enterprise undergoing this process and we need to make sure that it is done right.”

South Africa’s Companies Act enables firms in financial distress to file for business rescue. If granted, an administrator is appointed to help the company reorganise and assess whether it can be turned around. Companies in the process of being rehabilitated are protected from liquidation and legal proceedings, enabling them to keep trading. The law allows for the appointment of more than one administrator.

SAA hasn’t made a profit since 2011 and a series of efforts to turn it around have failed, leaving it reliant on state bailouts to remain solvent. The government’s own finances are already stretched and it is facing demands from other state companies for funding, limiting its scope to provide the airline with more aid.

© 2019 Bloomberg 


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Best not to have socialists / communists try and fix what they broke.

No time for their little political games.

It needs to be liquidated asap. Government should not be in business (or sport) and nor should Unions.

Tell the Unions to *$@¥& . Or to translate, ” go play in the traffic”.

I’m not sure why this is a snag – tell the unions to go away. If they don’t like it what are they going to do – strike? If they do, it merely hastens the closure of a failed entity and saves the taxpayer billions. They could go to court – same outcome.

Get another practitioner at what cost?
I mean after almost collapsing SAA with their strike?
I’m not sure if the unions in this country have any sanity left in them.

Unions, hear this loud and clear: we, the people who pay the taxes to run SA are utterly sick of your ‘We demands’. You constantly ‘WE DEMAND’ pay rises hugely above inflation. You constantly ‘WE DEMAND’ to influence the running of businesses when you have no clue whatsoever how to do so. Now you ‘WE DEMAND’ to have a say in who does the business rescue of SAA. You have no right to do so. And if you do call a strike, you will only hasten the death of SAA, as you have already done. Real income-generating South Africans are totally sick of you. You have become the exploiters with your Communist-inspired tactics and it has now come back to bite you on the bum. And will continue to do so.

At this point in time, the unions should be going down in their knees, touch the ground with their foreheads and beg to keep their jobs. And pledge loyalty to their employer. And even ask for forgiveness.

All that these clowns can do is strike. Let them do that.
The more they strike, the faster Les Matuson will come the the conclusion that it needs to be liquidated.

This is a blessing in disguise.

The sad thing is multiple practitioners do not work. As a senior practitioner have been there done that …. there is enough complications in this matter without adding multiple practitioners to the mix. Rather the unions need to engage with the highly competent Matuson.

End of comments.





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