Hard Hitting: Lack Of Transformation Behind SAA’s Downfall

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

With the minority white people managed to defeat the majority of black people because all they do is to identify few individuals who can make a loud noise and use them to divide us and now it’s high time black people must unite or else we will remain spectators, writes Nwana Wa Vho-Nyadzanga

I am not any hand clapper of Dudu Myeni and I don’t think I will ever become one. But there is something I was missing when attacking her and now that makes me to question any demeaning of any black leader in any SOEs in this country.

I took my time to read a certain document that was speaking about SAA and it’s employee and I almost say WTF. If I knew I would have studied aviation studies and become a Pilot. Now I understand why they want Dudu Myeni out and they will stop at nothing until they see her head chopped. Allow me to unpack some of the information you will never hear ENCA telling the citizens of this country.

The white group dominates in all areas at the airline. SAA employs 779 pilots of whom a majority are white.

  1. Out of 225 senior captains employed by SAA, the documents reveal that almost 217 are white males. There are four black people, but no Indians or coloureds. There are apparently four senior female captains, all of them white.
  2. Of 116 captains, 108 are white males, three are black, two coloured and one Indian. There’s one white female captain and an Indian, with no blacks or coloureds.
  3. There are 288 senior first officers, 187 are said to be white males, 22 blacks, 16 coloureds and 21 Indians. In terms of female senior first officers, almost 38 are white, with two Indians and two coloureds and no black people.
  4. Regarding first officers, there are about 130, with 43 white males, 32 black people, 10 coloured and 22 Indians. There are at least 17 female white first officers, five black people, no coloured and one Indian.
  5. As for pilot managers, there are 21, with 14 white males, 5 black people, one coloured and an Indian, but no females of any race.
  6. There are 18 ground managers with 10 white males, three Indian people, but no coloureds or blacks. There are three white female ground managers and two blacks but no Indians or coloureds.

It has to be said that SAA it’s the institution that has institutionalise white supremacy, out of 779 employees, 579 of them are white people. We don’t have to massage and romanticise the truth within this institution when it comes to what it has been and what it is when it comes to harbouring the whiteness within it’s ranks. Ok let’s check how much this whiteness of this institution is costing our government in salaries and other perks these pilots are getting.

In January alone, SAA spent R52.9 million on pilot and crew accommodation and rest facilities. This equates to R634 million annually. Add travelling benefits of R63 million per annum and the amount grows to R697 million. Mind you here we are talking about white pilots who are accommodated in hotels of the highest global standards that has to be forked by us the tax payers while the remainder of the black flight crew stay in two-star hotels.

And one wonder why SAA will never become self-sustainable SOE but all comes back to the  head of Dudu Myeni. We as black people are failing each other, we failed to protect this poor woman, whom now we are calling her Dudu Myeni but who is trying her level best to enforce the transformation that even our black people working for SAA to partake on the cake that currently enjoyed by white people only.

You wonder why white people are forever on holiday every now and then, it has been said that a recent peak holiday flight carried 19 pilot family members in business class. In other words; if I am a pilot of SAA, I can go to holiday with my 19 family members using business class and paid nothing for this flight. Mind you, don’t forget that 90% of these pilots are white people. If all pilots flew a family of four once a year to Washington, the total annual cost to the airline would be R250 million and all this been paid by tax payers, all of you who are saying Dudu Myeni must go. And you wonder why ENCA never said anything about this information it is well known to them?

It gets worse. If a pilot gets divorced, the previous wife gets the benefits and the new girlfriend gets the benefit at the same time. It is part of the agreement. Our government is funding the lifestyle of white people. And their girlfriends and no one is having balls of steel to question this looting of our tax payers and still having black people who want to hear nothing but expect to see Dudu Myeni gone.

I spoke to one of my friend who works for SAA as a cabin crew. She said all those white SAA Pilots are resisting attempts to cut their benefits and are now allegedly gunning for Myeni and her board. It has been said that Pilots petitioned the courts to stop Myeni and SAA from slashing their benefits. Among these are sick leave of 180 days a year, which apparently cost the airline over R57 million a year, annual leave which cost the airline R370 million, maternity leave for 15 individuals costing R7 million and travel benefits of R63 million.

And Dudu Myeni is trying to implement cost cutting measures by reducing some of the unnecessary benefits and she is receiving attacks left and right. Comrades, the pilots are costing the airline an estimated R2 billion in excessive benefits, guaranteed in terms of the long-term agreement between the SAA and the SAA Pilots Association.

Her sin was to write a letter to SAA Pilot Association last year September saying that salaries paid to the national carrier’s pilots are “exorbitant and unaffordable” with clauses in an agreement between South African Airways (SAA) and the pilots’ union preventing a “significant” reduction in costs. She wanted the reversal of this long-term agreement between SAA Pilots Association and SAA. As part of this agreement was that; whereby a lot of benefits accrue to pilots as a matter of these historic agreements, which are what we call evergreen. They exist and you never have to negotiate.

The structure of these agreements are such that even if SAA went bankrupt and someone else bought SAA, these agreements would continue with a new company. Once you occupy that position, whatever happens you don’t lose your spot. The worst thing is that while they fly for other airlines, they retain the flight benefits that would have accrued to them as pilots for SAA.

And we black South Africans persecuting Dudu Myeni for challenging this unjust long-term agreement that were made to enrich white people. That’s the same reason you won’t see any transformation within this institution that has institutionalise white dominance and even black people are perpetuating it by demanding the resignation of Dudu Myeni.

I think it’s now on us what do we want as black people, to perpetuate this whiteness within this institution or what? If you don’t believe me ask any black cabin crew will attest to this one. Never fight your fellow black person with a white person because tomorrow when the white person fights you, nobody will rescue your ass. We need each other as black people. White people want to control all our SOEs and will use some of our naïve black people who think they are smarter than their own fellow black brothers and sisters. The divide and rule principle has displaced Africa into ashes.

With the minority white people managed to defeat the majority of black people because all they do is to identify few individuals who can make a loud noise and use them to divide us and now it’s high time black people must unite or else we will remain spectators. It’s the same thing of what was happening at SABC, they wanted people’s COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng gone so they can continue controlling every media platform brainwashing us to believe everything they say. Those who are selling us to whites must be isolated and be dealt with harshly, comrades, or else there is nothing we will achieve that can inspire confidence to be a black man.

Nwana Wa Vho-Nyadzanga is a Pan-Africanist whose time is yet to come.