South African Airways (SAA) employees have been told to make necessary arrangements with their banks as the airline warned that it could not guarantee that salaries would be paid on time this month.
This comes directly after temporarily suspending loss-making flights to Hong Kong. On Thursday evening public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan told MPs that the airline does not have enough cash to “possibly even pay salaries at the end of the month”.
A screenshot of what appeared to be an internal correspondence about delays in the payment of salaries went viral on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
The statement read: “SAA will unfortunately not be in a position to fulfill salary obligations to employees on the scheduled payment date.
SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali told the publication that staff was advised the national carrier would “not be able to pay salaries for November on the normal scheduled dates.
“The company has yet to secure R2bn working capital to fund daily operations and this includes payment of salaries to all employees,” he said.
The South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) said it is not surprised that SAA would not be able to pay salaries on time this month amid a crippling strike.
Workers at the airline have been on strike for exactly a week now, demanding a pay hike.
It is estimated that SAA has been losing R50 million a day during the strike, which began last Friday.
They are also opposed to SAA’s restructuring plans that could result in job losses.
The embattled airline, which has tried in vain to negotiate with unions, said it continued to try to secure the required funding to meet its financial obligations.
Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said: “This is not the first time this has happened. It happened earlier this year. Salaries were delayed, it’s not that much of a shock and had to explain this to members and we’ve done the same this time.”
#SAA is so bancrupt they can’t pay salaries leave alone give increases!
— Dr Loot Gous (@lootgous) November 20, 2019
Can we please talk about how the SAA might not have money to pay its employees’ wages by the end of this month!? My chat is, what are these employees supposed to do? Imagine dedicating yourself to your job EVERYDAY to not be paid your wage!? No man, we can’t ignore this…
— John 1: 1-5 🕊️ (@lethukukhanya_) November 21, 2019