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DPE Withdraws From SAA Leadership Consultative Forum

July 1, 2020

Department of Public Enterprises

The public enterprises department has withdrawn its participation from the Leadership Consultative Forum (LCF).

The LCF was set up to facilitate employee engagement towards the development of a business and operating model for a new and restructured South African Airways (SAA).

In a statement, the department indicated that the decision to withdraw was taken after “careful consideration”.

According to the department, the LCF is not serving its intended purpose such as supporting the business rescue plan or proposing amendments to the existing plan, making joint submissions to the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) on voluntary severance packages that are fair and equitable for SAA employees who are going to be retrenched, providing joint leadership during the restructuring process and contributing towards the formation of a new airline involving a strategic equity partner.

The department declared that it had to intervene and set up the LCF with labour unions when the BRPs failed to meaningfully consult with SAA employees and their unions.

Last week, the Creditors’ meeting, called to vote on the business rescue plan, was adjourned until 14 July 2020.

One of the reasons put forward by the department for withdrawing from the LCF is that “by supporting SA Airlink’s resolution to adjourn the Creditors meeting, the actions of the NUMSA, the SA Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the SAA Pilots’ Association (SAAPA) have contradicted the letter and spirit of the Leadership Compact”.

Postponing voting on the business rescue plan has also put “severance benefits for employees and the retention of 1 000 jobs now, and 2900 jobs as flights ramp up, at risk…”.