The losses at South African Airways (SAA) raise a simple question: why is the state throwing good money after bad to keep this suppurating sore? There is nothing strategic about SAA to the economy.
If the argument is to preserve jobs, this is coming at enormous cost to the country. SAA has received more than R20bn in bailouts. If we assume a 10,000 staff, this means a subsidy of R2m per job.
While there is already a hole in the fiscus, it beggars belief that a non-strategic dog like SAA is kept on such expensive life support. The solution is simple — liquidate it, and soon. With a balance sheet ripped to shreds by years of gross mismanagement there is no shining knight on its way to take an equity stake.
Putting this animal out of its misery would have the added benefit of sending a huge wake-up call to other state-owned enterprises.