While SAA's business rescue practitioners (BRPs) wait for the government to source the more than R10bn needed to get the stricken state-owned airline up and running again, unions say the human cost is high.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and South African Airways Pilots' Association (Saapa) all report that their members are in dire financial straits, having in most cases not received salaries for five months.

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