It’s time for National Government to consider partial or full privatisation of SAA

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – Chief Whip of the official Opposition
18 Nov 2019 in News

The time has come for National Government to seriously consider South African Airways’ (SAA) future as unions have now threatened to extend their industrial action to include the entire aviation industry. If these intentions materialize, Government will sit with an even bigger problem on its hands than SAA losing an estimated R52 million per day, as it can potentially put our entire already ailing economy under further distress.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is of the strong and considered view that the airline be placed under business rescue, in order to mitigate any further loss of revenue and to ensure that the entity is a going concern. If not business rescue, the only viable option would be the partial or full privatisation of this entity.

NUMSA and its affiliates are out of touch with the genuine concerns of the workers they represent and do not care about the sorry state of our economy.

Bringing the entire aviation industry to a standstill will have devastating consequences on the tourism sector in particular. This time of the year, tourists flock to the country bringing much-needed capital and economic activity. Furthermore, reports indicate that unions are demanding an 8% wage increase from the cash-strapped SAA. If the airline cannot even afford to fund its daily operations, how can NUMSA ever expect SAA to afford an 8% wage increase?

Unions enjoy far too much power; their proximity to the governing party has allowed them to hold the country to ransom while inflicting an insurmountable amount of damage on the economy. South Africa will have difficulty  recovering from this kind of damage to the economy.”

SAA has become an albatross on our economy and South Africans derive very little benefit from this entity. The time has come for National Government to put its pride aside, do the right thing and begin the process of privatising the entity without delay.

SAA is in desperate need for reform and the only way to ensure positive reform is for National Government to take a stand against unions and making the tough decisions without fear or favour.