OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Airports Company SA (Acsa), the state-owned airports operator which recently lost a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) case involving car rental company Imperial, said it would continue to push for transformation at its airports.

Acsa suffered a legal setback in January when the SCA dismissed its appeal against a decision by the high court in Johannesburg in 2018.

Acsa, which operates a number of the country’s airports including OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International, on Friday said it had taken note of the judgment.

“This litigation has proved instructive in our understanding and interpretation of regulations related to transformation and the need for constant supplier engagement to ensure that all stakeholders’ objectives are aligned,” Acsa said.

Acsa said it would still push for transformation at its airports.

“We will give effect to this commitment within the confines of the law”.

The high court had found that Acsa’s attempt to exclude Imperial, which operates Europcar and Tempest car rentals at various airports, on empowerment grounds was unlawful and unconstitutional.

The high court said Acsa’s request for bids in September 2017 was inconsistent with the constitution’s section 217 which requires state organs to acquire goods and services in a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-efficient manner. In the request for bids, Acsa invited proposals for car rental concessions.

Each successful applicant would have been granted car rental concessions for 10 years.

SCA justice Mahube Molemela said in a judgment that the request for bids was inconsistent with the constitution and BBBEE (B-BBEE).

njobenis@businesslive.co.za