Cash-strapped SAA will have to fork out R1.1bn to its rival Comair to settle a decade-old competition case, with taxpayers most likely having to foot the bill. The national airline, which has still not submitted its 2017/18 financial statements to parliament, is one of several state-owned enterprises, including Eskom, Denel and the SABC, which are relying on a government bailout to stabilise their parlous finances. Apart from paying R1.1bn, SAA was also ordered to carry the costs of the 14-year-old legal battle. The airline is hoping finance minister Tito Mboweni will announce some form of financial assistance when he tables his 2019/20 budget in parliament on Wednesday. In November, Business Day reported that SAA, which needs R21.7bn from the government over the next three years to implement its turnaround plan, did not have the funds to pay for immediate operational expenses, let alone maturing debt. SAA executives said in parliament that the airline needed about R17bn in governme...

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