'We are unable to fulfil salary obligations on time': SAA to staff

SAA staff will have to tighten their belts to meet financial obligations, as the embattled airline said it was unable to pay salaries on time in November. File photo.
SAA staff will have to tighten their belts to meet financial obligations, as the embattled airline said it was unable to pay salaries on time in November. File photo.
Image: AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

Shortly after temporarily suspending loss-making flights to Hong Kong, cash-strapped SA Airways (SAA) told staff to “make arrangements” with banks on debit orders, as salary payments would be delayed in November.

The announcement on Thursday evening came a day after 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”, reported BusinessLIVE.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali told the publication that staff were 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.

While international and some regional flights are operating, an ongoing wage-related strike has forced the airline to cancel domestic flights - incurring significant losses.

Copies of internal correspondence purportedly from acting CEO Zuks Ramasia were shared on social media, telling staff the airline would “not be in a position to fulfil salary obligations to employees on the scheduled payment dates".

It went on to advise: “In the interim, you are advised to make arrangements with your financial service provider in respect of your scheduled monthly debit orders.”

“The company has undertaken to keep employees updated on this matter and will advise staff on the dates for payment of November salaries,” Tlali told BusinessLIVE.

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