Taxpayer? You’re giving SAA and its rich flyers another R5bn - not kidding!

We were reappointed to government towards end of February. So, eight months gone nobody is coming forward to say 'I know who is corrupt at SAA'… Why are corrupt people being protected? Why are you protecting corrupt people? Why are you not coming forward? If we want the airline to survive, we have to clean out the dirt.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to SAA staff

By every rational measure, SAA should be closed down… It’s a rubbish business...

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show

Year after year after year South Africa’s long-suffering taxpayers bail out South African Airways (SAA).

It hasn’t made a profit since 2011, and the airline doesn’t expect one before the 2021 – 2022 financial year at the earliest.

However, taxpayers are keeping it alive (for whose benefit?) with billions that keep on coming (and going).

In the past 10 months alone, Treasury has doled out R15 billion to SAA.

Nevertheless, it will soon fork out another R5 billion to keep SAA afloat.

According to the Department of Public Enterprises, it will be the final bailout.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni last week suggested the airline should close down.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Linden Birns, MD at Plane Talking.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for quotes from it).

There are enough failed privately owned airlines as much as there are successful state-owned ones.

Linden Birns, Plane Talking

SAA has been crying to be properly recapitalised for as long as I remember…

Linden Birns, Plane Talking

The aviation industry trades largely in dollars. SAA generates most of its revenues in rand.

Linden Birns, Plane Talking

The market fundamentals are very strong… the size of the market doubles every 15 years… We’re looking at 11.4% annual growth over the next 10 years [from China]… There’s a lot of opportunity…

Linden Birns, Plane Talking

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This article first appeared on 702 : Taxpayer? You’re giving SAA and its rich flyers another R5bn - not kidding!


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