The board of directors of SAA has appointed Les Matuson as business rescue practitioner, the company said in a statement on Friday.

With the processing of the appointment by the regulator for the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), the company is now officially in business rescue. While the board of directors remains in place, it no longer has any authority or control over the company.

Matuson faces a race against time to restructure the affairs of SAA while it continues to operate. The company has only R4bn in post-commencement financing to fund operations until the end of the financial year. But, with a cash burn rate of at least R500m a month, unless big changes are made very quickly, it will soon  be out of cash again.

Business rescue provides it with the ability to restructure debt, place a standstill on creditors and renegotiate contracts. Should Matuson find SAA to be beyond rescue, the only option left would be liquidation and the death of the company.

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