There's no cash for SAA, says Gordhan

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan weighed in on the SAA wage deadlock. He said said wage increases at this moment will be tough on the SAA's financials

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan weighed in on the SAA wage deadlock.

Gordhan addressed Parliament's Public Enterprises Committee on Wednesday.

He said grounding planes means a loss of revenue to the airline.

READ: Unions, SAA still deadlocked

Gordhan said wage increases at this moment will be tough on the SAA's financials.

The minister also condemned those who allegedly intimidated people wanting to report for duty.

Gordhan said in a statement on Tuesday he was committed to saving SAA, but the government was not able to offer more financial help.

READ: Gordhan to meet striking unions at SAA

Over the last three years, the government has given more than R20-billion of bailouts to SAA to keep it afloat.

Gordhan has also accused unions of lying to the public about safety issues on SAA flights.

He's assured South Africans that world-class pilots are operating the planes.

READ: SAA Acting Chief Pilot: 'We comply with international standards'

Meanwhile, SAA board member Martin Kingston told Reuters the strike was costing the airline around R50-million a day.

He said SAA is running out of cash and could be liquidated if the government doesn't give it additional guarantees soon.

"We may not have enough cash to pay salaries at the end of the month, we are still investigating how we can do that," he said.

"This is a real-time discussion we are having with National Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises. We need help imminently."

- Additional reporting Reuters

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says if the strike continues, salaries won't get paid next month. 

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eNCA