Ace Magashule: Picture: AFP/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA
Ace Magashule: Picture: AFP/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

The ANC and its government will not close down the struggling state-owned airline SA Airways (SAA), the party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule, insisted on Tuesday.

Magashule and ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu briefed the media on the special parliamentary caucus meeting held earlier in the day, which was addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The president was also due to answer questions in the National Assembly in the afternoon.

Magushule’s comments on SAA stand in contrast to the view expressed by finance minister Tito Mboweni in a recent interview in New York that the loss-making SAA should  be closed down.

 Magashule gave the assurance that the airline issue was being dealt with by ministers and the cabinet, and said: “I can confirm that there is not any intention to close down SAA.” .

In his address to the caucus, Ramaphosa highlighted the unity and cohesion of the ANC and reported back on the decisions taken at the special meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) earlier in November. Among other things, the meeting dealt with building cohesion, unity and renewal in the ANC and doing away with factionalism.

The NEC had also taken note of feelings of marginalisation and exclusion experienced by minority Indian and coloured communities and recommitted itself to its founding principles of nonracialism.

Magashule said at the media briefing the position of home affairs minster Malusi Gigaba was not discussed at the caucus meeting.