South Africa’s department of public enterprises said on Friday it was sympathetic to the plight of South African Airways (SAA) employees who have not received salaries for several months and urged them to be patient while it worked to find a solution.
The financially struggling state-owned national carrier has been under business rescue since December last year and in October Finance Minister Tito Mboweni allocated R10.5-billion in his medium term budget policy statement towards funding its rescue plan.
On Friday the public enterprises department said the key to solving the difficulties facing SAA was the finalisation of the business rescue process and that it was working with the rescue practitioners to find the best restructuring solutions for the airline, including payment of salaries.
It said it had in the past worked with SAA management to restore good corporate governance and combat corruption at the national carrier.
“As one of the key focus areas, SAA has looked into major contracts relating to logistics, Information Technology, transactional advisory services, ground handling and security,” said the department.
It noted that the airline had taken disciplinary steps against the employees implicated, resulting in the termination of employment for some senior and executive managers.
Thirteen other employees were found guilty of misconduct and were served with final written warnings while nine were dismissed and another four resigned.
“All stakeholders, employees and union members are encouraged to come forward and provide credible information to the Department about instances of possible corruption, collusion, theft or fraud, that have occurred within the airline and amongst its service providers,” the public enterprises department added.