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SAA-Is this the end, finally

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SAA-Is this the end, finally

Old 15th Apr 2020, 15:09
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Question SAA-Is this the end, finally

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has rejected the SAA business rescue practitionersí request for a further R10 billion.It looks like it's finally the end of the runway for beleaguered South African Airways (SAA) after Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan rejected a request for a further R10 billion to keep the airline going.

In a letter from the department on Tuesday, business rescue practitionersí were told the government would not 'support the extension of the foreign currency borrowing limit to permit foreign financing of the business rescue plan, nor for a care and maintenance budget'.

SA Flyer magazine's Guy Leitch says this is the final nail in the coffin for the airline.
If the government turns off the taps now, as it seems to me they have no option to do, the airline's not going to be able to pay its salaries at the end of this month...
Guy Leitch, Managing editor - SA Flyer Magazine
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 17:07
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Given that the South African population includes more than 20% HIV positive within the age range 15-49 and within that is a significant proportion with TB, the impact of the virus in South Africa is likely to be grim.

In that context, the survival of a corrupt and inefficient airline that nominally serves the rich (in local terms) is not remotely realistic.

South Africa has far more important things to do with its money.
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Old 18th Apr 2020, 22:14
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It is unfortunate that such a long-established carrier has now come to an end, but as Caiman noted above, the government of South Africa has far higher priorities for public spending than keeping a national airline afloat.

It will be interesting to see how the void gets filled - will there be a significant number of different air carriers all serving SA with routes to their home base, or will Emirates move in and take over everything, with the result that if one wants to go to SA from anywhere, a plane change in Dubai will be needed.
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Old 18th Apr 2020, 23:06
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Airlines flying into SA directly from other countries will ramp up a bit as will the domestic airlines. Ethiopian can cover most of Africa via Addis and the Middle East 3 the longer range flights. That pretty much gets you where you need to go.
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Old 19th Apr 2020, 03:39
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A group of SAA SFO's has appealed in a public letter for 'diversity' to trump seniority in upgrades and furloughs as they rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

African Pilots of South African Airways 18 April 2020
____________________________________________________________ _____________________
To: Business Rescue Practitioners
Mr. Les Matuson Mr. Siviwe Dongwana

Shortcomings and disadvantages affecting African Pilots within South African Airways

Dear Sir’s,

South African Airways is one of the oldest airlines in the world with an impeccable safety record and one of two airlines, the other being South African Express (SAX), in South Africa to have attempted to correct the ills of the past in working towards transformation in the aviation industry as required by the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998.

Those in the industry know that transformation is almost nonexistent in most flying operations. Currently South African Airways employs just over 600 Pilots and Africans only make up 10% of the Pilot body. Of the 10%, only five are African women. Other South African airlines, including Mango which is state owned, have shown little to no interest in transforming the aviation industry.

To us this means that if South African Airways and SAX were to close down, there would never be transformation in our country’s aviation industry. For African children in the next generation, there would be no hope and no future to make in the industry. This further curtails the government’s plans of Employment Equity within the Republic’s airlines.

Looking at South African Airways statistics, there is currently little to no desire to promote Africans to participate meaningfully within the industry. We as African Pilots employed by South African Airways are all first generation pilots. Growing up, there was no one in our communities to look up to and in whose footsteps we could follow and receive mentorship towards a career in aviation.

We feel it is imperative for South African Airways to retain African pilots moving forward after the current Business Rescue Process. This will aid the company in its quest to implement transformative measures and inspire future generations of African children to consider and inclusively select flying as a career. The majority of us trained and qualified as airline Pilots with the financial aid of South African Airways under the now ceased Cadet Pilot Program.

The company has invested a lot of money in us and we are ready to return that investment and play significant roles in helping the company recover its profitability and retain its former glory. The lack of leadership roles given to Africans at South African Airways within the pilot body must be addressed and amended. It is South African Airways’s responsibility to develop and effect change as per our country’s Constitution.

A majority of airlines in the country are privately owned and are therefore not obligated to implement what is set out in our country’s Constitution even though they are bound by law. This does not mean we do not acknowledge the challenges faced by these Airlines, but we need to acknowledge the fact that we are responsible as a society to make changes in this industry that still prevent the participation and involvement of African children.

South African Airways is a leader in this regard within the aviation industry as they had a Cadet Program which uplifted a lot of us African pilots. Unfortunately this program no longer exists and more can still be done to achieve equal or more demographics, reflective of those in our country. African First Officers that are in the airline have in general double the amount of flying hours and experience than most Captains of other airlines in South Africa. Promotion to the Commander positions would be a seamless exercise as most of us are already rated as Pilot in Command by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). This will aid the company financially as our pay scales would be lower.

The majority Pilot’s union of South African Airways promotes the seniority list system under the Regulating Agreement. This system is in conflict with the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 and as such is overridden by Chapter VI Paragraph 63. Strangely, South African Airways accepted and implemented this seniority list system and it has gone unchallenged since its inception. Only recently has the company viewed the seniority system unconstitutional and counterproductive to Employment Equity. This then lead to the decision by the company to review the legality of the Regulating Agreement.

The effect of this has been indeed a hindrance to transformation within the Pilot body. The few that are in senior positions are overpowered by the majority when it comes to decision making. As a result, to date, there is not one African pilot who is an instructor at South African Airways because the majority Pilot’s union refuses to comply with the industry world best practice on Pilot training and development to instructor level.

It is against this background that we were prompted to plead a case for African Pilots to be retained post Business Rescue. With the current prospect of the Section 189A processes at South African Airways being implemented, it is once again the most junior, vulnerable and mostly African Pilots who are in the firing line with regards to the rule of Last In First Out (LIFO).

We are not privy to the restructuring plans but have been put under the impression that the LIFO principle will be applied and adhered to. This of course implies that the little progress that has been achieved in transforming the South African Airways Pilot body will be completely erased as most African and designated group Pilots form the majority of the bottom part of the seniority list. Measures outlined in the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 including but not limited to, Chapter 2 Paragraph 6(2)(a) and (b), Chapter 3 Paragraph 15 and 20 , Chapter VI paragraph 63 should be applied to the fullest extent in this case.

There has been a constant rhetoric and agenda stating that this approach will affect the safety of operations at South African Airways. A claim that the seniority list ensures that only the most qualified Pilots get promoted and not junior Pilots who are inexperienced. This is simply not true as the majority of African pilots at South African Airways are already Senior First Officers with more that 10 years of experience within the company. We are willing, able and ready to take on leadership positions and most importantly, we are economically viable in these times of strife.

The a vast majority of the captains at South African Airways got their Commander upgrades within ten years of their careers with the airline. A fact available in company records. It is unfathomable that we still have less than 10% representation of African Pilots at the South African flag carrier, 22 years after the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 was adopted. The breakdown of the South African Airways pilot group is as follows:

• African Female 5
• Coloured Female 2
• Indian Female 4
• White Female 52
• African Male 56
• Coloured Male 23
• Indian Male 43
• White Male 438

We appeal to you and the public to consider these facts in your decision making going forward.

Yours Faithfully,

SFO Mawethu Majola [email protected]
SFO Sibusiso Nxumalo [email protected]
SFO Phumezo Zingela [email protected]
SFO Asnath Mahapa [email protected]
SFO Mvikeli Nongxa [email protected]
SFO Munzhedzi Machaba [email protected]
SFO Harry Mackaukau [email protected]

CC: The Chief Pilot of South African Airways
The Minister of Public Enterprise
The Minister of Finance
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
The South African Community at large
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Old 19th Apr 2020, 03:57
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The arrogance of this letter astonishes me.

They've assessed themselves as ready for command, out of seniority and want to be retained despite their employer being on the ropes.

Additionally, they’re not disadvantaged and are riding on the backs of an historical injustice which has long been legislated out of existence. They’ve had their way paid for, in full by SAA and knew the principle of LIFO when they signed on the line.

Could it be that they’re afraid of actually being required to study for an ATPL?
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Old 19th Apr 2020, 04:04
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A retrenchment proposal.

SAA business rescue practitioners issue retrenchment proposal to 4 708 staff members

By Staff Reporter 13h ago

Johannesburg - The business rescue practitioners of the embattled South African Airways have issued retrenchment proposals to more than 4 700 staff members.

This was confirmed on Saturday by Louise Brugnan, the spokesperson for the struggling airline’s business rescue practitioners. She stressed that the letters were proposals and there had yet to be a signed agreement.

The business rescue practitioners said the letters were issued on Friday night and workers had until April 24 to make a decision.

“We are trying to lay off everyone,” said Brugnan in a telephonic interview.

“The government has already said they will no longer support the business rescue process, so we are looking for the best outcome for the staff through this process, we are trying to get the best outcome for them,” she said.

Brugnan said five unions were present when the letters were issued on Friday, but the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SAA Pilots’ Association (Saapa) were not represented.

Brugnan said they aimed to sell SAA assets to fund the proposed retrenchment process.

She said the offer only affected SAA employees

Issued the proposals - its a proposal for them to think about and consider - issued to them last night. The SAA local staff 4708.

Foreign employed SAA staff were not part of the proposed severance packages, Brugnan said.

Meanwhile, Brugnan said they were expecting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to table a report regarding the airline on Monday.

She also said SAA staff were forced to take leave during the lockdown and would be paid. She said it was possible some employees would not be paid full salaries because of insufficient leave days.


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Old 20th Apr 2020, 09:57
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Old 20th Apr 2020, 13:38
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The company is a microcosm of the country and a clear view of the country's future.


The warnings have been sounding for two decades.
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