The government on Wednesday announced the release of R10.5-billion needed to fund a plan to rescue struggling, state-owned South African Airways. The cash-strapped flag carrier was placed under a state-approved administration in December following years of mismanagement and rising debt.
In a mini-budget statement on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said R10.5-billion “is allocated to SAA to implement its business rescue plan”.
The bailout is funded through cuts in spending elsewhere in other public entities and conditional grants.
The latest allocation expected to save the limping airline, is in addition to R16.4-billion doled out in February this year to settle guaranteed debt and interest.
Administrators axed most domestic and some international routes in February to save cash — even before coronavirus grounded airlines globally — as they drafted a massive restructuring plan to create a leaner, competitive airline.
The rescue plan will see the airline shrink dramatically, emerging with a fleet of just six aircraft out of the 44 it had last year. Only a fifth of the almost 5,000 employees would remain.
The aim is then to grow it back to 26 planes by the end of 2021 and re-hire 1,000 furloughed staff.
Meanwhile, the DA said SAA should not have been bailed out. The party said Mboweni has gone back on his promise to get debt under control.
In other news – Uzalo actress Dawn Thandeka King Honoured for her Hardwork
What a week it has been for Uzalo and Lockdown actress Dawn Thandeka King. From false pregnancy rumours to a surprise party from her family, Aba Thembu, honouring her success in the entertainment industry. Learn more