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SA Express employees to be paid salaries despite financial troubles

Jun 22 2018 20:13
Lameez Omarjee

SA Express employees were informed this week that they would be paid their salaries for June 2018, the Department of Public Enterprises has confirmed.

Earlier in the week, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) said workers had been warned that they might not be paid.

SA Express spokesperson Refilwe Masemola said, in a written response to Fin24, that the airline had been holding continuous engagements between management, labour unions and employees regarding the challenges faced by the airline and the risks pertaining to the payment of salaries.

She explained that the airline was grounded and unable to generate revenue.

SA Express was grounded in May by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) for non-compliance on several safety factors.

The DPE spokesperson, Richard Mantu confirmed in a written response to Fin24 that an intervention team from the department had been working with SA Express to address its liquidity and operational problems. This started before the airline’s operating licenses had been withdrawn, Mantu said.

"The minister (Pravin Gordhan) has been engaging various financial institutions for finance arrangements to alleviate SA Express immediate liquidity constraints.

"SA Express employees were informed yesterday [Thursday] that they don't need to worry about their salaries not being paid for June 2018," said Mantu.

In May, SA Express had briefed Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises, where it indicated that it was struggling to raise funding and required government funding.

Gordhan has previously said that SA Express had found itself in a struggling position due to a lack of good governance.

He also told journalists in a briefing last month that there were talks with Treasury to provide short-term cash for the airline. "If you need to buy tyres, then you need to buy tyres. And if you don’t have the cash at the moment, then you need a bit of cash facilities to get aeroplanes off the ground."

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sacaa  |  sa express  |  matsietsi mokholo  |  aviation  |  airlines
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