19 September 2020

Fellow Pilots,

The outcome of the meeting on Friday between BRPs and the creditors was the best of the three options on offer and gives labour some hope that the funds will indeed flow into the very much depleted coffers at SAA . It would appear that the smoke and mirrors and kicking the proverbial can down the road once again may be about buying more time to be able to allocate funds from the fiscus to SAA in the mini budget speech on October 21.
This is pure speculation from the media but in my opinion is the only plausible reason why the funds have not been allocated already. I read this morning that there are now up to 20 interested parties tendering for SAA. Remarkable how the “leaks” that emanate from the leaky bucket of DPE have dried up to the extent that not one name, besides the Ethiopian fantasy, has made it into the press.
I think the acting DG is delusional if he thinks that any entity or SEP will be forking over cash to resurrect SAA especially in this current climate.
How terribly sad that so many wonderful dedicated and loyal employees that made up the vast majority of the workforce at SAA , have been treated with utter disdain, and suffered yet again at the hands of a shareholder due to gross incompetence and a narcissistic leadership.
From as early as December last year the BRPs and SAA management have spent endless hours thinking out the box and making proposals to the shareholder, and continue to do so even up until today. These proposals could have saved the airline and the shareholder – millions of rands and jobs to boot. Instead millions were spent on consultants to produce proposals for a restructured airline. These plans have all been bastardised into what the DPE believes is a viable blueprint for a new airline , which is based on what has ultimately become an outdated master plan.
The plan calls for new management and a new board. Yet here we sit with the remnants from a decimated board, who together with management are totally out of their depth in this crisis, fumbling around in the dark , with no answers and what seems no inkling of reality. Ultimately, the buck stops with the shareholder. The question must be asked where is shareholder accountability/responsibility here when it is so desperately needed. Our airline is being run by the same people who were allowed by the shareholder to manage us into this mess. What is more disconcerting for the new SAA is that this same team are tasked with appointing the 1000 employees necessary to populate the new SAA. The question must be frankly asked; in appointing the new staff will they be guided by choosing applicants who are fit for purpose? This does not bode well for the new SAA having a chance of success.
Sadly the shareholder lacks the ability to make decisions and lead from the fore. How very sad for us as employees, and for any chance of a future for the new SAA to note that Minister Gordhan has all but disappeared into the background, leaving the DPE civil servants holding the reins.
I fear that even the time for miracles may have passed but I live on in hope that the funds promised are forthcoming and severances are paid allowing us all to move on with our lives be it in new ventures or trying to rebuild SAA.

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