Picture: SAA
Picture: SAA

The ANC is adamant that SAA remain a state-owned entity (SOE) despite uncertainty over its future.

“As things stand, the national executive committee (NEC) has agreed that SAA must be retained, but obviously with some restructuring that is taking place in a manner that will ensure it is sustainable moving forward,” the party’s economic transformation sub-committee head Enoch Godongwana said.

It has been decided that the cabinet take the operational processes needed to achieve this.

SAA, which is under business rescue and remains without the capital to fund operations, announced on Tuesday that it has “consolidated” various domestic flights and cancelled several international ones to conserve cash in an environment of low demand.

This is as it waits for a further R2bn capital investment from National Treasury.

Business rescue practitioner Les Matuson had expected to receive word from the department of public enterprises last weekend over whether the money promised by the government to fund the airline during business rescue would be forthcoming.

That decision has been delayed with the department saying on Sunday that it is still engaging with the Treasury to secure the funds.

In December, the government promised that it would provide R2bn from the Treasury and also guarantee another R2bn, which was to be provided by a consortium of banks. While the bank funding did materialise, it has now been depleted and the government has not been able to keep its side of the bargain.

Briefing journalists after the two-day NEC meeting and a two-day lekgotla on the outcomes, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said detailed inputs were provided on the situation at SAA and Eskom, with specific proposals to improve their performance.

He said it was decided that there be an investigation of historical contracts impacting negatively on SAA, including the lease of airplanes and evergreen contracts.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za