The latest R2.3bn bail-out for South African Airways (SAA) is one in a long series, always justified on the basis that yet another long-term turnaround strategy is in the making. The problem is these strategies are not implemented, or not implemented well. "SAA has been on life support for far too long and it’s time to pull the plug," Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Janine Myburgh said in a summary. "SAA is an essentially commercial operation and, as such, is not entitled to regular financial transfusions from the fiscus. If it stopped operating tomorrow it would not be missed. Other airlines would simply step in to fill the gap and we would no longer have to pay billions of rand every year to keep it going. It is wasteful expenditure of a kind. "The airline has been given every possible opportunity to sort itself out and it has failed every time," she said. Whether the causes are poor management, corruption, undercapitalisation, the legacy of past poor decisions or ...

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