SA Express was placed under business rescue in February and the COVID-19 lockdown on 26 March resulted in the grounding of its fleet. Workers said that they had not received any assistance from the Public Enterprises Department.
An SA Express airplane. Picture: Supplied
CAPE TOWN – SA Express Airways employees want Parliament to intervene after going without salaries for most of the year.
Workers said that they had not received any assistance from the Public Enterprises Department, the airline’s sole shareholder.
SA Express was placed under business rescue in February and the COVID-19 lockdown on 26 March resulted in the grounding of its fleet.
SA Express employees have told a parliamentary committee that their cries had fallen on deaf ears and that they needed urgent assistance.
They had also gone as far as the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for help.
The employees have now resorted to Parliament to also help mediate.
Employee representative Shainil Giyapersad said that hundreds of employees had now been left destitute.
“As employees, we really in a situation where 691 of us have been left destitute in the interim with very little support and we’re saying from our point of view, that we have not received the support that our sister airline, South African Airways, has received.”
MPs, like the Democratic Alliance’s Galeb Cachalia, sympathised with the employees: “The comments from the DG and the deputy minister frankly are a cruel comfort to the employees.”
The department said that outstanding salaries and retrenchment packages for SA Express employees were being addressed through the mediation process facilitated by the SA Human Rights Commission.