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The state has not ruled out selling its 39% stake in Telkom to bail out unprofitable South African Airways (SAA). The Treasury is planning to introduce a special appropriations bill recommending a R10bn appropriation to the airline in 2017-18. The figure includes the R2.2bn bail-out the struggling airline received in June to help it repay loans to Standard Chartered bank. The airline is engaged in tough negotiations with lenders whose R6.8bn debt matures in September, as it also wrestles with the prospect of being unable to pay salaries because of a severe cash crunch. The saga of SAA’s financials poses a serious risk to the fiscus because the airline holds R19bn in government guarantees. The state of affairs at SAA and its potential bail-out dominated proceedings during Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s question-and-answer session in the National Assembly and a sitting of the standing committee on public accounts. In the latest disclosure on Wednesday, the DA said in Parliament it...

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