SAA liquidity crisis continues - Alf Lees

DA MP says airline has used up most of the R19,1bn in govt guarantees

SAA liquidity crisis continues

The DA will write to Nhlanhla Nene to urgently obtain a report on the procurement deviation requested by SAA CEO to source additional loans of R15 billion that according to a news paper report was the basis for a deviation requested by new SAA CEO.

Incredibly the motivation for these funds apparently included hiring consultants to provide “cultural change services”. Surely after 4 months in the job SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana has made it clear that the new culture is one of honesty, integrity, efficiency and hard work is the order of the day.

The R10 billion taxpayer bailout of SAA was never going to be enough to keep the mismanaged, corruption ridden, over-staffed and inefficient state owned airline in the air. Even the so-called turn-around plan under the new board and CEO, Vuyani Jayanathan, shows losses continuing until 2020.

SAA has used up most of the R19,1 billion in government guarantees and there can be no further guarantees issued to a bankrupt and loss making SAA.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene must now take the bold step to place SAA under business rescue with a clear undertaking that the airline will be privatized within the 2018/19 financial year.

The DA will ensure that this is interrogated further when we put tough questions to SAA representatives who will be appearing before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance on 20 March 2018.

Instead of wasting another R 4,7 billion on a further bailout that is apparently planned in 2018/19, these funds must be used to balance the 2018 budget instead of increasing VAT by 1 percentage point, an increase that will make it even more difficult for the poor and unemployed 9,2 million South Africans.

Statement issued by Alf Lees MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance, 4 March 2018