SAA business rescue practitioners lose leave to appeal retrenchments

South African Airways's ability to remain solvent is being questioned in court.

The Labour Court reportedly says the BRPs at SAA must consult workers, issue section 189 notices and submit a business rescue plan before commencing with retrenchments. 

South African Airways’ (SAA’s) business rescue practitioners (BRPs) have lost a leave to appeal a Labour Court ruling against their plan to retrench workers.

In their application for leave to appeal, the airline’s BRPs had argued that it was of public interest to get clarity on whether a business rescue plan was first required before starting retrenchment processes at the airline.

The Labour Court ruled in May that the BRPs could not start retrenchments at SAA without submitting a business rescue proposal.

The court found that the proposed retrenchment at the airline was procedurally unfair and instructed SAA and its BRPs to withdraw their notice of retrenchment.

It was reported that the court stated that its May judgement stands and that the BRPs must consult workers at the airline, issue section 189 notices and submit a business rescue proposal before commencing with retrenchments.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) had approached the court in May in an urgent application to request an order from the court to interdict retrenchments at SAA.

The unions said at the time that their application was a result of the BRPs failure to submit a business rescue plan before starting the section 189 retrenchment process in March.

It was reported that in their appeal, the BRPs had argued that they do not have sufficient time for consultations and for issuing section 189 notices.

This is a developing story. More to follow.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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