South Africa: Since 1994 the Government Has Given SAA More Than R57,000,000,000 in Bailouts. Now Is the Time to Stop This Madness

A queue of frustrated passengers at the Port Elizabeth airport on November 15, 2019, after SAA cancelled flights.
opinion

It is the government's duty to stare down Numsa at South African Airways if it stands any chance of tacking the massively costly inefficiency that is Eskom. Cyril Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordhan must re-assert their authority to govern, and win back the right to make decisions in the best interests of the whole economy, not just a conflicted and parasitic union elite. Anybody who wishes to govern this country must have iron in his spine and not be swayed by threats and strikes.

The ongoing strike against the restructuring of the state-owned South African Airways (SAA) is a proxy battle to curb the government's strength of will in its ongoing attempts to set the country's economy back on course. The trade unions embarking on the industrial action against SAA have set their eyes on a much bigger prize beyond the airline: to reverse the reforms Cyril Ramaphosa's government has embarked on.

Any sign of weakness on the part of the government will be milked to the last drop, and the outcome of this confrontation between the reformers in the government and the trade unions led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will determine whether South Africa...

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