The strike at SAA will result in the downfall of the entire airline, according to acting chair Thandeka Mgoduso.
The Sunday Times reports that SAA is currently surviving on the goodwill of its lenders and could struggle to pay salaries at the end of the month due to a lack of income caused by the strike.
SAA told Parliament that it would not be able to survive the strike and could face liquidation as a result.
“If this strike perpetuates and there is no money coming into the company, everyone that we owe will want their money and where does the money come from?” Mgoduso said.
There is no point in talking about business rescue, Mgoduso added, as SAA cannot be rescued.
“There is nothing to rescue and that is why we are doing what we are doing to ensure that we return the company to a state where it can be turned around,” she said.
“The employees that are on strike are the ones that are going to cause SAA to close.”
Mgoduso said that the striking employees must “carry on their consciences” that they are responsible for the death of the state-owned airline.
The South African government recently stated that it would take a tough approach to the troubles at SAA.
“If some tough decisions need to be made, we’ll make them,” Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said.
The government will repay loss-making SAA’s outstanding government-guaranteed debt of R9.2 billion over the next three years, the National Treasury said in October.
Lenders are demanding a firm repayment plan as a condition for agreeing to extend more funding, SAA has said.
SAA has lost more than R28 billion over the last 13 years and relies on financial support from the government to remain solvent and operational.