Numsa loses ConCourt offer to force parliament to suspend liquidation of SA Express, Denel

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Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim argued that Parliament has a duty of oversight and accountability that is set out in the Constitution.

Gallo Images / Grant Duncan Smith

  • The Constitutional Court ruled that a request from Numsa fell outside its jurisdiction and mandate to hear directly.
  • Numsa wanted Parliament to be the body to decide whether state-owned companies like SA Express and Denel can be allowed to become insolvent.
  • There are some 700 public entities in South Africa.

In a blow to the National Union of Metallurgists of SA (Numsa), the Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that it could not hear the union’s demand for parliament to decide whether state-owned enterprises can be allowed to become insolvent .

According to the Supreme Court, the case does not fall within its jurisdiction and mandate to hear directly.

In May this year, Numsa went directly to the Constitutional Court, asking for a ruling that the Public Enterprise Portfolio Commission and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) of the National Assembly should play a more active role in oversight. insolvency and liquidation processes in troubled state-owned enterprises. companies.

There are some 700 public entities in South Africa. But in the supporting affidavit, Numsa’s general secretary, Irvin Jim, spoke at length about the problems with state-owned arms company Denel, as well as airline SA Express.

Numsa wanted the Constitutional Court to rule that the Scopa – or any parliamentary committee with a similar objective – hold public hearings and consider submissions on whether large troubled state-owned companies should be allowed to become insolvent or liquidate. by a court. The union wanted Parliament to be called upon to pass a resolution on this issue.

The Constitutional Court, however, rejected Numsa’s request for leave to appeal directly to it and also decided not to award costs in this case.

SA Express was placed in provisional liquidation in April 2020, after its business rescue process failed. Its interim liquidators are still trying to see if a suitable buyer can be found for the airline.

Numsa believes that the current state of SA Express “boils down to abandonment” by the state and is an “unacceptable deviation not from policy, but from law”.

In the supporting affidavit, Jim also argued that Parliament has a duty of oversight and accountability that is set out in the Constitution.

As for Denel, Jim argued that it is “essential that Denel is not liquidated” and that he must remain a “strategic partner of the defense force”.

Numsa has been approached for comment and if received this article will be updated.

Fin24 reported earlier this month that Denel reached a settlement agreement with SAAB Grintek Defense, saving it from the brink of liquidation. At the heart of SAAB Grintek Defense’s criticism of Denel was the failure to repay its debts to the aerospace and defense company.


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