Treasury in talks for extra funding as SAA woes continue

SAA is selling nine of its commercial aircrafts which are deemed too expensive to run.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has said the government is working to secure extra funding to rescue SAA.

Addressing business leaders in Johannesburg on Thursday, ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) next week, Mboweni said he was in discussion with Treasury over the matter.

The National Transport Movement (NTM) says South African Airways (SAA) is at severe financial risk and urgently needs the additional R2 billion bailout promised by the government.

The government promised the airline R2 billion and another R2 billion was to come from lenders. But specialists, appointed to turnaround the national carrier, say the government has not yet provided its portion of the funds and that the R2 billion from lenders has been exhausted.

The NTM has met with the business rescue practitioners of SAA over how the R2 billion it received from lenders was spent. The NTM says the situation is so dire, the airline will be forced to suspend some of its flights and delay salary payments if it does not receive the funds soon.

President of the National Transport Movement Mashudu Raphetha says, “The first R2 billion that they were given they showed the unions how they spent it. The government currently does not have cash available. We are very much worried that should the government not speed up this process, there will be a situation that happened in November where people did not get paid on time. But we are confident that the two BRPs will make sure that the monies are given – we have to put the pressure on the government because we cannot afford not to have SAA.”