SAA business rescue disappointing – SACP

Party says it was hoping for a state-led turnaround process

Statement on SAA

5 December 2019

The South African Communist Party is disappointed that SAA was driven into a business rescue situation. Our preference was a state-led turnaround process. We called for a thorough investigation into procurement conduct on all contracts, including airline leasing and fuel contracts, as well as into all major appointments, to establish the role these systematically played in plunging SAA into its current crisis. The investigation remains relevant. It is an important part of turning SAA around and ensuring that it becomes a viable and thriving productive public asset. Its scope must include a focus on irregularities, corruption and value for money.

The SACP calls upon the trade union movement, regardless of affiliation, to unite in defending SAA as a state-owned asset, as well as in protecting workers jobs at SAA, other state-owned entities and across the economy.

It does not make sense for government to call upon members of the public to fly SAA while the representatives of the same government and other persons taking flights using tax payers' money do not follow the call. Therefore the SACP calls upon government to ensure that the entire state-wide and public sector flights budget at all levels now and going forward is spent on SAA as part of its turnaround and sustainability strategy. This means every person taking a flight using tax payers' money should be required to use SAA as a national airline.

The liberalisation of domestic aviation and thus regulatory framework must also be reviewed to determine the extent to which it has disadvantaged SAA or impacted negatively on the national airline. This is important for the development and adoption of a comprehensive way forward.  

The SACP will be holding its Special National Congress starting on Monday, 9 December. The Central Committee will call for a special resolution on SAA and other state-owned enterprises, aimed at securing workers and broader national interests and turning around the entire public interests sector of our economy. 

Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, Central Committee Member and Spokesperson, 5 December 2019