In many ways it is very good news that the Treasury has resisted the temptation — and pressure — to find yet more money to bail out chronically mismanaged SAA. But given the decision to place the national airline in business rescue and its evidently desperate need for another R4bn to implement the plan, perhaps now is not the time to be exhibiting such unwavering resolve. It does rather suggest there is limited united thinking on the matter at cabinet level.

Essentially, the Treasury is thinking like a banker rather than a shareholder. Now that it is in business rescue it would surely be far better for cabinet to be behaving like a shareholder that is keen to create some sort of viable operation out of the process. A viable operation would certainly be easier to sell than the mess that could be created from a poorly managed business rescue. Also needing to be considered are the thousands of jobs involved — directly and indirectly.

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