The airline is bidding for a £45million (729million SA Rand) bailout to keep the operation going until the end of 2017, however in December payments in excess of £38million are due.
Like Alitalia, SA has lost money year on year, its Acting Chief Executive Musa Zwane is said not to enjoy the confidence of international financial institutions. For nearly two years he has been hawking around a recovery plan but so far he's only had polite refusals.
Recently the SA Treasury forked out £125million to settle an overdue debt facility about to be called in by Standard Chartered Bank. The bank refusing to extend the term and effectively walking (if not running) away from the airline.
Accountants/ consultants Ernst & Young, in 2015, completed a report for the SA government looking at some 50 very large contracts negotiated and awarded by the airline. They claimed at least twenty eight contracts, were improperly negotiated, poorly contracted or weakly managed......
To cap it all, the BBC is reporting the airline is facing pressure from its well organised and powerful unions. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) are planning a march on Friday to SAA's Johannesburg headquarters.
An NUMSA spokesperson said: "Corruption at SAA is rife, it's clear that the state owned entity is being looted.
"The report by Ernst & Young paints a picture of rampant mismanagement, fraud and corruption. SAA has lost billions because of tender irregularities."
The unions are also threatening strike action over pay, claiming that pilots have been getting generous pay awards while cabin crew, ground staff, cargo staff and technical staff have been refused wage rises.
Source: CNS, BBCNews, SAA, Reuters
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