President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered that embattled National carrier SAA urgently go into voluntary business rescue.

In a leaked letter, secretary of cabinet, Cassius Lubisi, said Ramaphosa made the order to change the adopted “restructuring of SAA” approach due to the airline’s “dire situation”.

“This is the only viable route open to the government to avoid an uncontrolled implosion of the national airline,” the letter reads.

“The voluntary business rescue approach will also prevent liquidation applications by any of SAA's creditors, which would land the airline in an even worse position.”

This is a developing story. eTNW will bring you the news as it happens.