JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) said on Monday that it would be picketing with the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) at all the country’s major airports on Tuesday.
The protests involved "myriad" issues at South African Airways (SAA) and SAA Technical, said the union, including the resignation of the national carrier’s group executive, Vuyani Jarana.
Other issues included alleged corruption of SAAT management, problems in the maintenance department, allegations of nepotism and tribalism and the alleged corruption of the human resources manager at SAAT.
On Friday, SAA announced long-standing executive Zuks Ramasia as the interim group chief executive following the resignation of Jarana a week before.
SAA said it was taking steps to strengthen the executive capacity in the group, had appointed Adam Vos as the new CEO of SAA Technical, and was finalising the appointment of a permanent CEO for Mango.
Ramasia, who was previously general manager for operations at SAA, began her term as CEO on Monday.
In his resignation, Jarana cited the airline’s mounting debt due to uncertainty about funding and lack of support from government as a shareholder in implementing the airline’s long-term turnaround strategy.
In his leaked resignation letter, Jarana said that a big chunk of the R5 billion bailout SAA received from government for the 2018/19 financial year had been used to pay creditors up to the end of March 2018, to the point that the airline was on the brink of failing to pay salaries on three occasions.
Jarana’s resignation brought to the fore the tensions between managers of troubled state-owned companies and government as shareholder as reporting lines got blurred between the department of public enterprises and National Treasury, with President Cyril Ramaphosa calling them to a meeting last week.
Numsa said pickets would take place at King Shaka in Durban, OR Tambo, Cape Town and East London airports on the same day, and at the same time.