DA calls on Minister Gordhan to release details of potential SAA private investors

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, to reveal the details of the private equity partners that have apparently expressed interest in investing in the defunct South African Airways (SAA).

In response to a question by the DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone MP, in Parliament yesterday, the Deputy President, David Mabuza, indicated that the government is engaging with the private sector to ensure that SAA is no longer dependent on taxpayer funded bailouts.

This comes after Minister Gordhan, stated earlier this month that government discussions with private equity partners had reached an advanced stage.

If there are indeed interested parties, then the government has an obligation to make public the details of any agreements that may be entered into. Especially in light of the immoral R10.5 billion in public money that has gone into this vanity project.

The Deputy President effectively confirmed yesterday that the so-called “new” SAA is simply going to be a smaller version of the “old” SAA.

According to Deputy President Mabuza, the “new” SAA will have yet the umpteenth “new” set of SAA board members appointed in the next few days by Minister Gordhan. This “new” ANC-appointed SAA board will then appoint the next “new” set of politically connected, ANC cadres as SAA executives.

It will be a replay of what has been done over and over again and that has cost taxpayers over R30 billion, and counting, in bailouts.

Any persons who accepts an appointment to the “new” SAA board or “new” SAA executive will likely only do so as an exercise in self-enrichment as there can be no rational thinking person, outside the ANC, who still believes that:

  • The “new” SAA stands any chance of escaping ANC political interference and malfeasance; and that,
  • It is morally justifiable for the ANC to spend another R14 billion on SAA, as indicated by Minister Gordhan in Parliament in November. Money taken from essential services such as police, education, health and other desperately needed services.

Even if private equity investments are on board, it will take a miracle for any ANC connected board or executive to turn SAA around without political interference and inevitable mismanagement. The defunct airline will likely continue to be an albatross around taxpayers necks.

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