by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – THE country’s official opposition has welcomed the announcement that troubled national carrier, South African Airways (SAA), will be put into business rescue.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) concurred with Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises, that the move was the next best option, other than liquidation, to stop the multi-billion Rand taxpayer bailouts to SAA.
“The DA has long held that business rescue was the only viable option to prevent SAA from placing any further burden on our ailing economy and the taxpayer,” said DA Member of Parliament, Alf Lees, a Member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
The legislator said it was unlikely that the application for business rescue for SAA would be conceded to unless was a further bailout, presumably amounting to R2 billion, from the South African taxpayer in order to provide the working capital required to enable SAA to continue trading.
Lees said if the business rescue was awarded then it would take control of SAA out of the hands of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
He said the business practitioner appointed must take robust action to immediately cut costs at SAA without any interference from the ANC.
“The DA will monitor this very closely in order to ensure that the ANC keeps its distance,” Lees said.
On Friday, the SAA Board of Directors and the Executive Committee said it had been in consultations with the shareholder, the Department of Public Enterprises, in an effort to find a solution to the airline’s well-documented financial challenges.
“The considered and unanimous conclusion has been to place the company into business rescue in order to create a better return for the company’s creditors and shareholders, than would result from any other available solution,” SAA stated.
– CAJ News