SACP disappointed at SAA’s business rescue decision

Party calls for an investigation into contracts and appointments at the state-owned airline

05 December 2019 - 16:44 By Zimasa Matiwane
Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande. The party said it would have preferred a state-led turnaround process.
SACP Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande. The party said it would have preferred a state-led turnaround process.
Image: Madelene Cronje

The SACP on Thursday expressed its disappointment at the decision to put SAA into business  rescue.

The move followed an agreement between the legal teams of trade union Solidarity, SAA and the ministers of public enterprises and finance that the national carrier would officially be put into business rescue.

In a statement, the Communist Party said it would have preferred 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,” spokesperson Alex Mashilo said.

Despite the route taken by government to mitigate challenges at the national carrier, SAA is also expected to take centre stage at the SACP special national congress expected to start on Monday.

“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 interest sector of our economy,” Mashilo said.

The Communist Party also said it did not make sense for the government to call on members of the public to fly SAA while the representatives of the same government and others taking flights using taxpayers' money do not heed the call.

“Therefore the SACP calls upon government to ensure that the entire statewide and public sector budgets allocated for flights is spent on SAA as part of its turnaround and sustainability strategy. This means every person taking a flight using taxpayers' money should be required to use SAA,” Mashilo added.

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