SAA unions accept severance packages

South African Airways begins flights soon. Photo: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP

Four unions ready to sign SAA severance packages – DPE

The Department of Public Enterprises named four unions that opted for South African Airways (SAA) severance packages. Three have objected.

SAA unions accept severance packages

South African Airways begins flights soon. Photo: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP

Four unions and staff representatives have approached the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), indicating their readiness to sign the voluntary severance packages (VSPs) offered as part of South African Airways (SAA) business rescue and restructuring process.


In a statement, the DPE named four unions that agreed to a severance package on Wednesday 1 July.  

The National Transport Movement (NTM), South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), Aviation Union of Southern Africa (AUSA), Solidarity, and representatives of SAA non-unionised managers and ground staff met DPE representatives on Wednesday and made the commitment to sign the VSPs.

The VSPs can be offered to employees immediately after the creditors vote on the Business Rescue Plan on Tuesday 14 July 2020.

“The unions and staff representatives said they supported the VSPs which include one week calculated per year of completed service, one-month notice pay, accumulated leave paid out, a 13th Cheque and a top-up of severance packages calculated on a back-dated 5.9% wage increase which was agreed to in November last year.”

Department of Public Enterprises

At this stage, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the SA Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the SAA Pilots’ Association (SAAPA), have objected
to the final VSPs.


The DPE, also on Thursday, said liquidation is not the path to be taken

The department said that in the case of liquidation, a liquidator would be appointed to consolidate the company’s assets in order to raise capital which would be distributed to the creditors when the airline is wound up. 

The department said creditors, would in all likelihood, receive a negligible dividend after all secured and preferred creditors have been paid in the liquidation proceedings. 

“For employees, the liquidation of SAA means they would receive a maximum of R32 000 per staff member, regardless of years of service, to the extent that there are funds available. They will only receive payment once the final liquidation and distribution account has been approved which can take up to 24 months,” it said. 

“The DPE is convinced that the R2.2 billion budgeted for Voluntary Severance Packages (VSPs) for SAA employees is the best available option at a time when government is faced with massive financial demands and fiscal constraints,” it added.