Now is the time for government to sell off SAA

The IFP welcomes governments decision to deny South African Airways (SAA) with a R10 billion in the form of a bailout and any further funding beyond what has been provided already by the state.

This follows the request made by the SAA Business Rescue Practitioners in seeking further funding to keep SAA afloat.

The IFP has always believed that the rescuing of SAA is a mere vanity project anchored in ideological correctness to appease politicians and not anchored in business sense and financial viability.

We have for years been calling for a compromise in the form of partial privatization yet these calls have fallen on deaf ears.

It is a tragedy that government has been throwing money into a bottomless pit.

Indeed, government, through the letter drafted by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan have finally come to terms with the fact that we cannot continue to try and solve non-financial problems by throwing billions of rands in public funds at SAA.

It is unfortunate that government will have no other choice but to sell SAA.

Had the government heeded our calls years ago, we could have saved billions of rands that have been wasted through numerous bailouts. These billions could have been invested in service delivery to the benefit of all South Africans instead of a few.

The failure of this entity is rooted in poor and unethical leadership and workers will unfortunately bear the brutal brunt of SAA’s demise. Workers of SAA have been and continue to be victims of governments indecision on the airline.

We will closely monitor the outcome of the Cabinet Meeting set to discuss a way forward with SAA.

Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi MP
IFP Deputy President and Spokesperson on Finance
072 390 6112