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Solidarity today expressed its dissatisfaction with the airline Mango’s business rescue plan, which was only accepted today. According to this plan, South African Airways (SAA) will withdraw from Mango and sell 100% of its shares.
Solidarity argues that state interference and the implementation of poor business decisions made Mango into another victim on the long list of failed state institutions. Solidarity further argued that the situation would have looked quite different if Mango's former CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout, had been allowed to restructure the airline and manage it without any interference.
“Employees at the airline are now paying the price for the poor decisions of the past made by the government. We are in a situation again where ideology and centralisation take precedence over sound business practices and sound economic decisions. The result is that thousands of people are now without work while such a situation could very well have been prevented,” says Derek Mans, sector coordinator of defence and aviation at Solidarity.
According to Mans, Mango was already in a weak position before the start of the covid-19 pandemic, and there already was a request from the previous head of Mango to the shareholder to place Mango in business rescue. He believes that a successful application at that time could have resulted in a very different outcome and could have helped many employees to keep their positions.
“It is important that we realise that the problem with Mango was not caused by the covid-19 pandemic but by the state’s preoccupation with its ideology and centralisation. Had the state acted in the best interests of Mango and his employees at the time, Mango could have been in a much better position that could have enabled Mango to absorb the challenges of the pandemic. ”
“We further welcome any formal investigation as well as holding the culprits accountable if irregularities are exposed. We further suggest that the government renounce its racial ideology when a new shareholder is found so that skills and experience will be the determining factors to ensure the survival of the airline,” Mans concluded.
Issued by Solidarity