Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA / GCIS
Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA / GCIS

Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan will meet unions striking at SAA on Tuesday in an effort to resolve a strike over wages at the embattled SAA, that has entered its fifth day.

State-owned SAA has cancelled hundreds of flights since the strike began on Friday, saying the stoppage is costing R50m per day and jeopardising talks with lenders.

Irvin Jim, general secretary for the National Union for Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which called the strike alongside the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), said the unions would meet Gordhan on Tuesday to discuss the strike.

Sacca’s deputy president, Christopher Shabangu, also confirmed the meeting, saying it was “trying to find a solution to ending the strike”.

Gordhan's spokesperson could not be reached for comment. The strike has cast doubt on the survival of the airline, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2011 and is reliant on state bailouts. SAA said on Monday its international flights were operating on schedule while some domestic passengers would face more cancellations on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The unions have also threatened to shut down the entire aviation industry in SA by extending industrial action beyond the state-run airline.

Reuters