The Department of Public Enterprises has asked employees at South African Airways (SAA) to take salary cuts of up to 50% (for the highest-paid employees) in order to keep the airline afloat for the next two months.
The airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs), Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, have previously told workers that SAA would not be able to pay salaries from May onwards, encouraging workers to take severance packages in order to avoid the liquidation of the airline.
The salary cut proposal will apply to May and June salaries and is meant to “mitigate” against the “constant threat of liquidation” according to the department’s proposal.
These salary “sacrifices” will count as post-commencement funding the document states.
“This means in the eventuality of a liquidation, the shortfall of the salary of each employee will be a legitimate claim in the winding-up process in the form of a creditor.”
The salary cuts range from 3.7% for some of the lowest salary band of employees to 49.8% for the highest. SAA Lowest-paid employees from 0 to R39k per month and SAA highest-paid employees from R250k to R500k per month.