NEWS & ANALYSIS

SAA reportedly spends R3bn of R5bn bailout - Alf Lees

DA MP says this is before Parliament has even had a chance to consider it

SAA reportedly spends R3 billion of R5 billion bailout, before approval by Parliament

South African Airways (SAA) CEO, Vuyani Jarana, has reportedly admitted that the struggling airline has already spent R3 billion of the R5 billion bailout before Parliament has even considered such a bailout.

The R3 billion was reportedly spent on paying arrears. The R5 billion bailout for SAA is contained in a Special Appropriations Bill and Parliament may yet reject this bill in which case SAA would not be allocated the money and would have to pay the R5 billion or any part thereof that has been prematurely paid to it back into the National Revenue Fund.

I will therefore write an urgent letter to the Minister requesting confirmation on whether this R5 billion bailout has already been paid to SAA. If this is the case and it is clear that either Tito Mboweni or National Treasury has acted outside of the law, there will have to be consequences for those involved.

The airline posted a R5 billion loss in 2017/18; in 2018/19 they are looking at another R5 billion net loss.

SAA requires a total of R21.7 billion to turn it around according to its management. Money, which could be used to provide desperately needed police resources in our crime-ridden communities, assist in teaching and school resources and speed up service delivery.

The DA reiterates the call that SAA be placed under business rescue with a view of selling the zombie state-owned entity.

The national carrier has long been a black hole that is draining our fiscus and effectively stealing from the poor.

Statement issued by Alf Lees MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance, 9 November 2018