Alliance partners back Ramaphosa 'disapproval' of SAA route cuts

(iStock)
(iStock)

The tripartite alliance - comprising the governing African National Congress, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party - has backed President Cyril Ramaphosa in condemning the South African Airways business rescue practitioners' decision to cancel all domestic routes barring Johannesburg-Cape Town. 

The embattled state-owned airline was placed in business rescue late last year. Its BRPs, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, announced last week that in addition to the route cancellations, some of the airline's assets would need to be sold, and that job cuts would be necessary. The announcement elicited strong criticism from organised labour. 

In a statement issued by the alliance secretariat on Wednesday afternoon, it said a meeting had been held at Luthuli House, Johannesburg on Tuesday discussing the restructuring and business rescue currently underway at SAA. 

"The meeting expressed unequivocal support for the statement made by the president disapproving of the cuts announced by business rescue practitioners of all SAA domestic routes but one, Johannesburg and Cape Town," said the statement.

According to the statement, during its Tuesday meeting the alliance secretariat placed emphasis on "ensuring that the rights of workers are fully protected throughout the process".

"The alliance maintains that SAA must be turned around to thrive, kept as the national carrier and serve as the mainstay of our domestic aviation industry with successful regional, continental and international routes," the statement said.

The business rescue practitioners were obliged to present a turnaround strategy to government and that the business rescue process must be "inclusive and anchored on national development imperatives", it added.

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