South Africa’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is agitating that the South African Airways (SAA) loan agreements be made public.
DA’s agitation follows a further R734 million loss the airways bagged in the past two months.
Yesterday, Dudu Myeni the Chairperson of SAA appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance to present its quarterly report.
Declaring the meeting of the Finance Committee “a complete shambles”, DA divulged that the meeting revealed that the South African Airways has extended its losses by R734 million in the past two months.
The R734 million loss follows the over R4 billion loss the entity recorded in the 2016/17 financial year.
DA said the Finance Committee meeting revealed more shocking facts. They are as highlighted below:
- Neither SAA nor National Treasury has a plan in place to meet the 30th of June 2017 deadline to deal with R9.0 billion worth of maturing loans.
- SAA has been in discussions with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) about funding the national airline.
With that above, the opposition party charged that they wouldn’t sit back and allow SAA to raid funds under management by the PIC.
DA contended that “the only logical solution to ensure the sustainability of SAA and its thousands of employees is to file for business rescue and to stabilise the airline before taking it to the market to find private equity investors.”
Tha party also argued that it is in the public interest for the terms and conditions of the maturing loans be made public.
“That is why I will write to the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, to request that he disclose the full terms and conditions relating to renewed or new agreements with lenders to replace the maturing loans,” stated Alf Lees MP (DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance).
BLF Names Pravin Gordhan SAA’s Problem
Meanwhile, the BLF (Black First Land First) movement demanded the removal of former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan as a member of the Standing Committee on Finance.
According to the movement, the former Finance Minister wants the current chairperson of SAA out of the entity. BLF said Gordhan’s intent was revealed in November 2016 when he instructed SAA Board to allow American consulting firm, Bain & Company to “turn around” SAA by privatising 25% of the entity.
“Pravin Gordhan is determined to sell a whole 25% of SAA to white capital… the country cannot afford to have a member of the Standing Committee on Finance who is…beholden to white monopoly capital,” BLF asserted.