The return date for a liquidation application for state-owned regional airline SA Express was again extended on Wednesday, this time to 11 January 2022.
This was primarily because two unions are bringing an application in the Constitutional Court to try to save the airline. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA and the SA Cabin Crew Association want the Constitutional Court to compel the National Assembly to debate whether SAX should be permitted to go insolvent.
The two unions contend that, in the absence of Parliamentary oversight, a state-owned company cannot be finally liquidated by a court.
SA Express was placed in provisional liquidation in April 2020, after its business rescue process failed. In the second half of 2020 Fly SAX, consisting of a group of former SAX employees, was announced as the preferred bidder to buy the airline. At that stage it relied on funding to be obtained via a crowdsourcing platform.
However, in May this year, Fly SAX submitted a revised offer to the provisional liquidators, after the latter found that Fly SAX had breached the terms and conditions of the sale process as "no funds were forthcoming".
In January this year, a court ruling postponed the date to determine if SAX must be placed in liquidation to 29 April, which was then pushed out again to 28 July this year. The aim was to provide more time to try to save the airline.
Government gave SA Express more than R1.2 billion in urgent financial support for the 2019/2020 financial year.