SAA and National Treasury must explain why bailout money continues to be squandered

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The DA will call for a full disclosure on the status of funding for South African Airways (SAA) and why Parliament was possibly misled by the National Treasury, following a report in the media that SAA has again run out of cash and will receive a bailout of R5 billion – its third cash injection in just one year.

On 8 May 2018, National Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane informed the Standing Committee on Finance in Parliament that the R5 billion cash requirement that SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana had told the committee on 24 April 2018 was needed by SAA would not come out of public funds but would be sourced from either lenders or private equity.

The DA has repeatedly tried to get answers from the National Treasury and SAA about the cash position at the embattled airline. These enquiries have been repeatedly dismissed on the basis that the information is sensitive and would badly affect SAA’s ability to operate in a very competitive market.

Once the R5 billion is paid to SAA, there will have been a total of R15 billion in bailouts to SAA. On top of this, the SAA turn-around plan only envisages a break-even in 2021, after losing approximately R12 billion over the next three years.

It is patently obvious that SAA has become a major risk to South Africa’s sovereign ratings. It is simply irresponsible for the Finance Minister to continue to bow to political ideological pressure to not put SAA into business rescue and then privatise it.

It is verging on treason for the Minister to continue to put South Africa at risk without the authority of parliament.

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