SAA to seek strategic partner

SAA Group ceo, Vuyana Jarana, has given a written undertaking to trade union Solidarity to immediately initiate a process to procure a strategic partner for the airline, according to a Solidarity press statement.

This comes after Solidarity announced plans earlier this year to embark on a process to have SAA placed under business rescue and to do so for the sake of taxpayers across the country.

This position is in stark contrast to SAA’s previous stance that the airline first needed to be turned around before a strategic partner could be procured.

“In view of SAA’s letter in which comprehensive undertakings are given, Solidarity has decided to suspend its application for business rescue for the time being. It is difficult to immediately proceed with litigation if the other party has conceded in writing to most of our demands,” Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said.

This written undertaking comes after talks between Solidarity and SAA about the trade union’s business rescue application.

SAA confirmed to Solidarity that it was desirable that further capitalisation of SAA must be done mainly by a strategic partner.

The union said: “We are not naïve – SAA’s written undertakings are sufficient to suspend the application. However, we are very sceptical about the implementation of these undertakings. We have confidence in Mr Jarana’s good intentions, and we will give him the benefit of the doubt for the present. However, we have less confidence in the shareholders’ political will to make radical decisions on private ownership of SAA.”

Solidarity, therefore, suspended the application for the time being. However, it will continue to act as watchdog. “If it appears that SAA does not honour its undertakings, or if the situation worsens, we’ll immediately continue with the application for business rescue. The noose has therefore been loosened, but we have not removed it. Our documents for the application are ready to be served,” Hermann reaffirmed.

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