The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the South African Airways (SAA) Business Rescue Practitioners, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, to immediately apply for liquidation of the airline following an announcement by the embattled national carrier last week that it will suspend nearly all of its operations amid the Covid-19 (coronavirus) panic.
Alf Mees, DA member of the standing committee on public accounts, said on Sunday that given the current state of the travel and transport industries, it would be more sensible for resources to go towards trying to limit the spread of the virus, rather than trying to save the airline.
“Given the collapse of ticket sales income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, on top of the dire financial position of the airline, it would be immoral for the SAA creditors to grant the SAA Business Rescue Practitioners yet another extension to submit their proposed SAA business rescue plan,” he said.
The Business Rescue Practitioners recently implored creditors for another extension to submit their SAA business rescue plan, arguing that the Covid-19 outbreak had slowed down proceedings.
However, according to Mees, they had more than enough time, with this saga having been drawn out for four months already.
“The complete lack of any urgency on the part of Matuson and Dongwana to get the business rescue plan approved is a clear indication that the entire business rescue process is a farce and has been so from the very beginning,” he said.
An extension would only temporarily delay the inevitable demise of the airline, but in turn would also have wasted valuable resources that could have been used for more pressing matters such as the Covid-19 outbreak, he added. – Bjorn Vorster