After giving SA Airways (SAA) more than R24bn in bailouts since 1999, and committing another R21bn in debt guarantees, the government will hand over another R5bn by March. This time, really, it is the very last cent SAA will ever get from the taxpayer, say the politicians elected to guard the public purse. Minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan, who once more "owns" SAA on behalf of the people, told the airline’s staff on Monday that they must pull up their socks so the airline can keep going. This is an airline that has notched up a cumulative loss of R18.1bn since 2007. It will add a further R5.7bn for the year ended March 2018. Impressive! "The SA public is losing patience with SAA and doesn’t think it is viable," Gordhan said, according to Business Day. "It’s for you, working together, to prove you can make this a good business." "The public is losing patience" was not the last falsehood Gordhan told the staff. Since Gordhan is such a man of great integrity, I’m prepared ...

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