SAA knew it was broke before employees went on strike, says Numsa
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has rubbished claims that the recent industrial action is what has brought South African Airways (SAA) to its knees.
The troubled airline desperately needs a cash injection to continue operations.
Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola is adamant that SAA's financial situation was dire prior to the strike over pay increases.
Hlubi-Majola says the Public Enterprises Department has not been honest about the true root of SAA's financial woes.
They are being dishonest when they say that strike is the reason that SAA finds itself in this financial crisis. That's not true.Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, Spokesperson - Numsa
As early as June this year, the management of SAA was aware that there was not enough money to pay for operations for the rest of the year, long before we went on strike.Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, Spokesperson - Numsa
According to Hlubi-Majola, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has been reckless and irresponsible in his calls to shut down SAA.
The union says SAA is being choked by unjustified spending on procurement contracts.
Hlubi-Majola says the airline must tackle ramapant looting and corruption that continues at the national carrier.
Meanwhile, transport economist and aviation consultant Joachim Vermooten says SAA's decision to adopt a 'dual mandate' has contributed to its commercial failure.
He says the airline stopped focusing on its commercial objectives when it adopted a development mandate that opened the door to corruption and state capture.
The so-called dual mandate was a recipe for excusing non-commercial activity.Dr Joachim Vermooten, Independent transport economist
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