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FF Plus welcomes SAA business rescue with qualification

The FF Plus welcomes the SAA business rescue with qualification.

It is definitely a step in the right direction, but the airline has been driven into the ground with outstanding debt, unaffordable contracts and an inflated workforce and now its income is too little to cover its expenses and it is, thus, basically bankrupt.

It is, therefore, clear that it is going to take a lot more to solve the SAA's underlying problems and to get it back on the right track. What is needed is political will, but that is, unfortunately, what is missing.

According to Solidarity, its legal actions may possibly have encouraged the decision and the FF Plus welcomes the role that Solidarity fulfilled as a responsible trade union.

The FF Plus will fulfil an oversight role to ensure that the decisions made by the business rescue practitioner are not influenced by the ANC. The law stipulates that there may be no political interference in such a business rescue seeing as it often requires making unpopular decisions.

Examples include totally restructuring the airline, particularly with regard to its staff members, and doing away with unaffordable contracts that do not benefit the airline.

Taxpayers have had to pay for the airline's failures for far too long. The SAA is not an asset for the people of South Africa and it offers no economic advantages seeing as tax money is being used to fund the airline while that money should rather have been used to deliver services to the poor.

At present, there are many other things that should be seen as priorities in the country, like infrastructure, basic service delivery ad drought relief.

The R4 billion, R2 billion for operational costs and R2 billion for debt guarantees, is clearly not enough and taxpayers will once again have to turn out their pockets.

It is imperative that this business rescue takes place without any interference so that the airline can, either partially or in its entirety, be transformed into an enterprise that is attractive for an equity partner.

The only solution is to turn the SAA around completely so that it can be privatised and become an asset for the country. A government airline is a luxury and at present, the government simply has too many other pressing priorities that need and deserve its attention.

Contact numbers: 082 674 6670 / 065 801 7216

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