'SAA is not "unbundling" but simply changing its business model'

South African Airways (SAA) CEO has confirmed that the company is going to be split into three separate departments "as part of a major restructuring plan”.

Spokesperson Tlali Tlali explains that what is happening at SAA is different from what is happening at Eskom and guards against confusing the two.

He says it will be introducing three business units based on its current group network which is domestic, regional and international.

He adds that the business units are introduced in order to bring efficiency as well as accountability where performance is concerned.

Based on where we would like to go to it is necessary that our current operating model should change, it is the internal configuration of our resources.

Tlali Tlali, Spokesperson - SAA

These three business units will be headed by senior people who will, in turn, have specific people reporting to them where route performance is concerned.

Tlali Tlali, Spokesperson - SAA

We are trying to do away with a situation where SAA at the end of the day is seen as a loss-making entity without having precision management where we are looking at specific causes of such losses.

Tlali Tlali, Spokesperson - SAA

Tlali says there is no decision to break SAA into three separate entities but rather see an internal configuration of resources.

General Secretary at SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Zwelinzima Vavi says the explanation provided by the spokesperson is understandable in that there is no privatisation 'brought in through the back door' and that SAA will remain a state entity.

My only concern is they should not bring in yet another layer of bureaucracy because I can't see why they can't bring in better levels of accountability and efficiency now in the current structure of SAA. Why do they need to break it up into three components and talk in the same vein about efficiency? Why can't they do it now?

Zwelinzima Vavi, General secretary - SA Federation of Trade Unions

It is very costly to bring in another level of bureaucracy, management structure, CEOs, COOs, security and go to Treasury to ask for billions of rands to be bailed out.

Zwelinzima Vavi, General secretary - SA Federation of Trade Unions

What we should be demanding from SAA is a plan to tell us when are they returning the airline to profitability.

Zwelinzima Vavi, General secretary - SA Federation of Trade Unions

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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