In a policy about-face, state-owned carrier SAA says it will immediately begin seeking a buyer to acquire a stake in the airline as it seeks to cut losses. SAA group CEO Vuyani Jarana said management would have preferred to get the airline into shape first, but that given the pressure to fund SAA, “the shareholder [the state], the board and management had agreed to commence the process immediately”. SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali confirmed the undertaking on Tuesday, but said the airline could not provide details about the size of the equity stake or a commencement date at this stage, “should this option prove to be a viable proposition”. Jarana’s undertaking came in response to trade union Solidarity’s application in May 2018 to place SAA in business rescue. The union took this step as an affected party in terms of the Companies Act. About half of its members work at SAA, though the union is not recognised at the airline. Under the act, Solidarity based its business-rescue application o...

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