18 June 2018
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has appealed to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to provide emergency funding to help grounded South African Express Airways (SAX) pay June staff salaries at the end of this week. FEDUSA’s appeal comes after SAX Acting Chief Executive Matsietsi Mokholo informed staff about the possibility of salaries not being paid on 25 June 2018.
“We implore your office to provide the following assurances as a sign of commitment: that immediate requisite funding will be provided to the Airline upon reinstatement of the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and the Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) certificate; and that the salaries of staff and related statutory payments will be honoured by the employer which we are informed is no less than R42 million a month,” says FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.
“We are liberated by the news that SACAA has accepted the Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) submitted by SAX and will now conduct a re-certification process on the Airlines AOC and AMO respectively, including a verification of the airworthiness of aircraft in the coming week and we applaud the hard work by staff and the Acting CEO”.
He noted that SAX had remained a self-sustainable SOC for many years and the fact that these financial and governance related challenges had presented themselves now, to the degree that the Airline was grounded were unfortunate, but not unfixable as demonstrated by the speed with which the Airlines Management team have responded to SACAA findings.
“We must also emphasize that the government as shareholder is duly accountable and has actually made itself guilty of being an absent landlord, allowing for mediocrity in governance to exist and thrive. We beseech your office Honourable Minister, to act with haste and decisiveness in this crisis and ensure that at the very least, staff is paid,” he said.
George expressed concern that numerous bail-outs had been given to various SOC’s and that SAX was a “first-offender” and deserved an opportunity to prove its capability and value to the South African economy.
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
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084 805 1529
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072 637 8096