SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni. Picture: SUPPLIED
SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni. Picture: SUPPLIED

Bankrupt state-owned airline South African Airways has received R20bn from the state since before 2003-04 in the form of loans or capitalisation.

Of this only R1.6bn has been repaid. An initial capitalisation of R3bn was made before 2003-04.

In addition, SAA has received R19bn in state guarantees since 2007, of which R17.8bn were going-concern guarantees which are required before financial statements can be finalised.

According to a written reply by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to a parliamentary question by DA deputy finance spokesman Alf Lees, SAA has used R16.4bn of its guarantees with R2.7bn remaining.

The airline received R2bn from the state in June to repay a loan from Standard Chartered Bank, and R3bn at the end of last month to repay part of Citibank’s R1.8bn loan and provide for the airline’s working capital needs.

An appropriation of R10bn for SAA is expected to be made in the medium-term budget policy statement to be tabled in Parliament by Gigaba on October 25 to cater for the R5bn taken out of the National Revenue Fund and to provide for the airline’s future needs.

Lees has argued that pumping money into the failing airline is throwing good money after bad and that SAA should be immediately placed into business rescue.

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