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OPPOSITION INCREASES OVER SAA RECAPITALISATION

Date published 28.08.2017

THE DEMOCRATIC Alliance has slammed reports Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba intends to dispose of its 39.7 percent shareholding in Telkom, which is currently valued at approximately R14.4-billion, to enable a R10-billion bailout for South African Airways and demanded “sell SAA, not the future of SA”. Mr. Gigaba, however, claimed a decision had yet to be made on how the airline would be recapitalised.

The DA claimed it was in possession of a document that showed the cabinet wanted to sell its Telkom shares to recapitalise SAA and enable day-to-day operations to continue. The airline has been delaying payments to creditors and there have been fears it would be unable to met its wage bill.

“We have seen this movie before and we know how it ends. SAA continues to fail and will need more bailouts,” insisted Alf Lees, DA Shadow Deputy Finance Minister.

The DA also alleged SAA would be saved at any cost, that Mr. Gigaba had insisted “there will be no privatisation of South African Airways” and that pensioners’ money is being considered to fund the airline.

Following the appointment of Vodacom’s Vuyani Jarana as the new CEO of SAA, Mr. Lees said: “SAA presents challenges much bigger than Mr. Jarana has ever faced before. The only way to save SAA will largely depend on Mr. Jarana being given a free hand to take the robust action that is required in order to ruthlessly cut the bloated cost structure that is dragging the airline into liquidation.”


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