From the news desk

SAA may not be able to pay salaries: Board

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South African Airways (SAA) has nearly no cash left and may miss salary payments at the end of November as the crippling strike that enters its 7th day.

The strike has pushed the airline to the brink of financial collapse and SAA board member Martin Kingston says the strike is costing the airline a minimum of R50 million a day.

Kingston says SAA may not have enough cash to pay salaries at the end of the month.

He says they are having discussions with Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises as they need help soon.

Kingston says the national carrier needs R2 billion before the end of the month, with the portion of that money to be used to pay workers’ salaries.

He added saying, “There’s no money in the bank account to pay anybody. Not the 5.9% today, not another cost down the road. Unless and until such time that we secure the funding, we are not in a position to make any commitments to anybody.”

“I believe the unions and all stakeholders need to recognise that all they are doing is accelerating the demise of SAA, I would characterise this as extremely reckless and irresponsible and I would say that’s their prerogative,” says Kingston.

The airline received more than R20 billion in bailouts over the past three years.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) called the strike last week after SAA refused their demand for an 8% salary hike.

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