Flash Briefing: SA govt reaches pay deal with unions; Transnet cyber attack; Mango suspends flights

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  • South Africa’s government said it reached an interim pay deal with unions representing a majority of civil servants, averting the threat of an imminent strike. The Ministry of Public Service and Administration has not specified the terms and duration of the deal. The government needs to curb spending on civil-servant wages to meet its expenditure ceiling and deficit-reduction targets, but has encountered opposition from politically influential labor groups representing 1.3 million state workers. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has vowed that any raises must be accommodated within the current fiscal framework, and other expenditure will have to be cut should a planned pay freeze fail to materialise. The interim accord provides for 1.5% raises and a cash gratuity for civil servants.
  • South Africa’s state-owned ports operator declared force majeure at the country’s key container terminals following continued disruption caused by a cyber attack five days ago. Transnet said the declaration covers its terminals in the ports of Durban, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town because of the “security intrusion and sabotage” that accompanied the July 22 attack, according to a notice sent to customers and seen by Bloomberg News. The issues “continue to persist,” the company said. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the incident and the extent of the data-security breach and sabotage, it said. Transnet is taking “all available and reasonable mitigation measures” to limit the impact from the disruption. Container terminals are operating, but at a slower pace. A manual system for moving containers on and off vessels has been adopted.
  • Budget airline Mango, which announced on Monday it would go into business rescue, has abruptly suspended its flights after it failed to make outstanding payments for navigation services to Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS). The low-cost state-owned carrier’s CEO, William Ndlovu informed Mango’s customers on Tuesday that the airline would suspend its flights until further notice.  “Senior management and our shareholder are locked in discussions to find an amicable solution to this impasse,” Ndlovu said.  This is the second time in 2021 that Mango has been unable to pay its obligations to its vendors including fellow SAA subsidiary, SAA Technical and Airport Company SA.
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