Control of SAA is given back to public enterprises
Pravin Gordhan’s department will now control the ailing airline, after the president transferred its control, effective August 1
Embattled national airline South African Airways (SAA) has reverted to the Department of Public Enterprises after reporting to the Treasury for almost four years, according to a presidential proclamation gazetted on Wednesday. SAA is in a dire financial state and is looking for a buyer to acquire a stake in the airline as it seeks to cut losses. In July, the company said it had met airlines with which it had code-sharing agreements, as well as potential commercial partners, but had not discussed any possibility of them investing in SAA as part of a strategic equity partner process. In 2015, a R2bn equity deal between Emirates and SAA was scuppered when then SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni intervened and ordered then acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout not to sign the deal. SAA needs to raise R21.7bn over the next three years to make it profitable, according to the airline’s turnaround plan. That amount would be part equity — either from the government or a new investor — and part debt. Four year...