Passengers disembark from an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft. Picture: REUTERS
Passengers disembark from an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft. Picture: REUTERS

Ethiopian Airlines, posting great numbers and in the process supplanting SAA as the continent’s leading carrier, provides an abject lesson in sound fiscal management to the local troubled company.

Living on “handouts” for the past decade and showing no sign of redress in its style of operation, SAA is a spin-off of state capture that, along with other parastatals, has become a sore point in our chequered postapartheid past.

The finance minister’s quick response to every call by troubled state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to administer more doses of financial morphine is contrary to ethical business practices where nonprofit-making entities would face the chop rather than further rupture an ailing economy.

Fresh from an unfortunate air crash that dented its standing, Ethiopian Airlines bounced back, challenging bigger players in the market and producing scintillating results that shames our flagship carrier.

The answer to SAA and this parasitic group of loss-makers is to be disbanded or sold to private enterprise.

Billions pumped into deliberately failing units shows a weak government that is holding the fiscus to ransom.

A R Modak 

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