Why another R10bn for SAA? – IRR

This will bestow nil benefit to South Africa’s frail economy or real economic empowerment

Yet more billions for failed SAA shows why relief to SA must come with the right conditions – IRR

17 June 2020

Yet another attempt by the ANC to funnel R10 billion of taxpayers’ money into the vanity project that is the South African Airways (SAA) bestows nil benefit to South Africa’s frail economy or real economic empowerment.

SAA’s losses of R5.5 billion in 2018 and R5.1 billion in 2019 provide more than sufficient evidence that the vast taxpayer-funded bailouts over many years have been no remedy to the fundamental weaknesses and organisational failures that have reduced the national airline to its current state. Repeating this flawed remedy in the expectation of a different result reveals the absence of sane thinking on the part of the South African government and of Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Said IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research Hermann Pretorius: “South Africans, already under severe financial and economic strain due to the economic policy failures of the government, have time again had to foot the bill for these flights of Sisyphean madness. SAA has proven itself to be beyond rescue and a bait-and-switch by government to create a new airline, a new dodo to rise from the ashes, will only deepen the failure, rather than offer any hope that taxpayers will receive a fair bang for their buck. The IRR will oppose any and every attempt by ANC governments to further abuse taxpayer money or raid savings and pensions to fund SOE vanity projects.”

He said South Africa was facing its greatest economic and fiscal challenges in a hundred years, with millions of livelihoods at stake, leaving citizens wondering where their next meal would come from.

“That government can even entertain spending another R10 billion on anything but the welfare of South Africans betrays how out of touch the administration of President Ramaphosa is, and how the ANC simply refuses to learn from its mistakes,” Pretorius said.

Critically and honestly exposing the catastrophic government mistakes that have brought about a decade of economic lockdown and malaise, and pushing for real change, are the objectives of the international awareness campaign launched by the IRR as a way to engage the most important donor nations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and urge them to use their significant global influence to append constructive conditions to IMF assistance to South Africa.

Issued by Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research, 17 June 2020