Peter Bruce Columnist

On October 2 2008 outgoing public enterprises minister Alec Erwin wrote a reply to a parliamentary question saying that since 2004 the government had pumped R9.2bn capital into SAA and provided a further R2.9bn in guarantees.

From 2002 to 2008, Erwin said, SAA had lost R13.74bn, excluding restructuring costs of R1.35bn. For years I kept a copy of Business Day from around 2006, where a front-page item quoted Erwin promising this last bailout to indeed be the last. If only.

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