He said the government’s approach was “level-headed” and would take into account the effects of Covid-19 on local, regional and global aviation, as well as the need to “shore up the airline with world class aviation leadership and capabilities”.
It would also be cognisant of the “requirement for an extensive local and regional network to support tourism, business and different sectors of the economy”, and the need to support the South African aviation industry and reduce “reliance on the fiscus going forward”.
Thlakudi also said there needed to be “further appreciation of how mortally wounded” state-owned enterprises had been because of state capture and corruption.
“This is what the scourge does. It leads to the demise of legacies and loss of livelihoods, impoverishing communities from whom airline and supporting industries workers come from.”
Thlakudi said the government was “reviewing its options in all airline assets”.
“We will inform the public of further developments in due course.”
The business rescue practitioners declined to comment.
Meanwhile, the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) - which together represent about 60% of the 4,700 workforce at the airline - will be taking SAA and the business rescue practitioners to the Labour Appeal Court next week.
This is part of attempts to get practitioners to withdraw or suspend their application for the Section 189 process, as well as the severance package contracts that are being offered to the workforce.
In terms of the offer on the table, workers have until 5pm on Friday to sign the retrenchment agreements. This followed an agreement reached between the government and the business rescue practitioners to hold off on the signing of retrenchment contracts until then. Previously the deadline was noon on April 25.
Feroze Kader, chief negotiator Sacca, said on Friday the association and Numsa were “not dealing” with the business rescue practitioners but communicating directly with the public enterprises department.
“We have lost faith in the BRPs,” he said.
He said the unions had made more progress dealing with the public enterprises department directly in the past two weeks than “we’ve been seeing with the BRPs for the last five months”.
“We are happier dealing with the minister [Pravin Gordhan], other ministers and his people from the department because we see the light at the end of the tunnel for a version two of SAA.”
The business rescue practitioners declined to comment on the planned court action.
The practitioners, however, did say they were “continuing with the Section 189 process” and that 5pm on Friday was the cut off time for unions to engage with them.