SA EXPRESS AND DENEL
Distressed SOEs plead for fresh bailouts
SA Express wants its R1.74bn government-backed loans to be converted into equity
The list of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) hoping for a bailout in October is growing, with SA Express and Denel — both already reliant on government guarantees to remain operational — appealing to MPs on Wednesday for further financial support. Defence firm Denel, with government-guaranteed debt of R2.7bn, which has to be refinanced by the end of September, asked for a further R1bn guarantee and a cash injection to recapitalise the business, the size of which it has not disclosed. SA Express wants its R1.74bn government-backed loans to be converted into equity. The requests come ahead of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s medium-term budget statement in October, in which he will have to find ways to limit the budget shortfall despite lower than projected growth and a higher than expected state wage settlement. Denel and SA Express, both of which have new boards and new management, are among those devastated by corruption and mismanagement during the term of office of former president...