SAA#2

First published 1 Dec 2015

More on SAA. In a recent newsletter I mentioned that certain people were having a Dudu while the chairperson was renegotiating leases/purchases. Then the 19 November Business Day reported SAA as saying that it was ‘implementing a policy to set aside 30% of its procurement for small and black business in line with the “pronouncement” it says was issued by President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation speech in February.’ However Treasury has said there is no legal framework to enable it. This seems a remarkable line for Treasury to take given the numerous precedents for JK’s words to have the effect of law. Some authorities feel that it is now part of our Common Law. Nevertheless a forthcoming Government Gazette is likely to completely clarify the legal principle. I have it on the highest authority that it will take the form of:

  1. Listen to JZ
  2. Do it

This follows upon the success of the now famous Treasury How Much Money Do You Have / Pay It to Us tax form simplification gazette.

It seems that Treasury is still at the back of the oxwagon on this and oblivious to what is happening away from their ivory tower when it comes to SAA. From my own experience I can readily identify;

  1. A Putco vehicle being fitted with arms at a shack round the corner from us (an “airbus”)
  2. Car guards who still guide thieves to your car but not before placing containers under the sump and making certain small adjustments (BBBEE Jetfuel Pty Ltd)
  3. A fleet of supermarket trolleys being assembled in Jet Park for passenger meal deliveries (why do think you only get ones with wobbly wheels now)
  4. Taxi drivers practicing by heading into the wind on motorways to achieve a 140 knot takeoff airspeed.
  5. New courses which teach these same drivers that you can’t just swoop low over airports blowing your horn to see if anyone wants to get on.
  6. A code of conduct being drawn up by interested parties to determine what they can and can’t do when they see their third wife with another man 30,000 feet below.
  7. An envisaged shortage of cleaning staff, once the current ones become co-pilots, prompting the design of a new draught proof long drop toilet.
  8. Updating of ancillary services. We all know that Customs has deteriorated to the point where some fierce looking guy glares at you hoping to scare you into declaring your photo of Barak Obama concealed within one of President Xi Jinping, or should I say 习近 [These characters are supposedly his name – the last one obviously represents a telegraph pole, symbolising the communication of instructions to his lads here.] This will change with the introduction of such African Customs as advancing at you with raised spear and shield if you don’t have an unabridged birth certificate for your children on entering their kraal.

I tried to get hold of the chairman of the pilots’ association (he’s the one who flies in front and shouts ‘come on chaps’ out of the window when they strafe Myeni’s house with almost time expired five day old beef or chicken lunches). However the BDLive website at http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/transport/2015/11/17/saa-pilots-go-head-to-head-with-myeni describes it as the Pilot’s Association so I think Captain Harty may be the only one left now. This could explain certain recent incidents and why air traffic control have seen someone cleaning the cockpit windows on takeoff (refer 7 above). But the Captain puts on a good show of pretending all the ex pilots are still behind him. Myeni is expected to call a press conference to maintain that the cost of one pilot is still too much to ensure a profitable SAA. Wait for the leasing proposals for drones.

Facts are becoming stranger than fiction. Business Day 19 November also reports SATAWU, the transport and allied workers union, as saying that the white pilots, apart from representing a cost ‘abyss’, allow their children into the cockpit which ‘naturally puts them at an advantage to their less fortunate black counterparts for selection into the training programme’ This could explain controllers reporting comments such as “Can you find my Daddy and tell him I’m landing this big birdie now”. But work for SAA when they grow up? Noooo ways; buy their own plane and live off the trust fund.

Whatever happens Myeni is assured of a good write up by the New Age newspaper after SAA spent R9.4 million buying their newspapers in the last four years (http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/2015/10/12/da-queries-saas-new-age-spending). That’s quite a lot of paper planes. ‘Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene disclosed that since March 2011, the airline had purchased almost 6-million copies of The New Age for use on domestic flights and in airports and airport lounges.’ This spending seems to have been possible in the light of R14.5 billion of government guarantees extended in the last four years. Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Mazzone had this to say ‘The fact that the newspaper is both owned by the politically connected Gupta family and has an editorial stance which is unashamedly pro-Zuma, requires minister Brown to assure taxpaying South Africans that the agreement is above reproach and free from political interference’, and the probe must consider ‘whether the president or his acolytes had any influence on the agreement between SAA and the New Age, whether such spending is financially viable given the current state of the airline, and why the New Age was chosen ahead of any other national newspaper’. Perhaps there was a toilet paper shortage.

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