Department to oppose bid to place SAA under provisional liquidation

The department of Public Enterprises says it will oppose a bid by South African Airlink to place South African Airways under provisional liquidation.
The department of Public Enterprises says it will oppose a bid by South African Airlink to place South African Airways under provisional liquidation.
Image: 123RF/LEONARD ZHUKOVSKY

The department of public enterprises says it will oppose a court application to have SA Airways placed under provisional liquidation.

The department said it was notified of a court application by SA Airlink aimed at interdicting the business rescue practitioners of SAA from convening a creditors' meeting to vote on a business rescue plan for SAA.

The application by SA Airlink also seeks to have SAA placed under provisional liquidation.

SAA was placed in business rescue on December 6 last year.

The business rescue practitioners have scheduled a creditors' meeting for Thursday to vote on the business rescue plan.

“The department is also aware of plans by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SAA Cabin Crew Association (SAACCA) to interdict the creditors' meeting through the courts.”

The department said it has not been cited as a respondent in the SA Airlink application.

“However, as the shareholder representative, the DPE will approach the courts seeking to intervene with the intention to oppose the application by SA Airlink.

“The DPE will also oppose SA Airlink's application that SAA be placed under provisional liquidation,” the department said.

The department said SA Airlink contends that there is no reasonable prospect of rescuing SAA.

“As we approach the final week to either endorse or reject the business rescue plan by the BRPs, it is disturbing that a competitor of SAA, which is 100% privately owned as well as two labour unions, who should be acting in the best interest of their members, are seeking to destroy SAA by forcing a liquidation through the courts.

“The question is why. Is it really in the interests of SAA workers or the fiscus?”

The department said should Numsa and SAACCA launch an application to stop the creditors meeting, it will oppose the application.

“Government, as the sole shareholder of SAA, supports the business rescue plan where it results in a viable, sustainable, competitive airline that provides integrated domestic, regional and international flight service.”

“The DPE further supports the provisions of the Companies Act, which prescribes that the primary function of the business rescue process is to develop and implement a rescue plan with the view of fundamentally restructuring the business affairs of other liabilities of a company in distress, in a manner which maximises the likelihood for it to continue to exist on a solvent basis.”

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