SAA has been privatised

Johannesburg – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan today announced that government has found a “strategic equity partnership” for the embattled national carrier South African Airways (SAA).

The deal will see a grouping called Takatso taking 51% ownership of SAA while government retains 49% of the entity. Gordhan said Takatso will inject R3 billion into a new SAA.

“The partnership brings together South African public and private sector capabilities to reposition SAA. We have looked long and hard at the proposals submitted, and our clear choice of a preferred partner is the Takatso Consortium…the new SAA will not be dependent on the fiscus,’’ the minister said. The airline was recently allocated R10.5-billion “to implement its business rescue plan” by the government. The entity has not made a profit in more than 10 years and has received numerous government bailouts throughout the years.

The Takatso consortium is made up of Harith General Partners and airline management firm Global Airways.  Global operates a mixed fleet of Airbus A320 & A340 family aircraft in a number of cabin customisation options.

Harith is one of the largest investors across the continent in the five core infrastructure sectors of energy, transport, telecommunications, health and water.

Gordhan’s ministry last month welcomed the notice of substantial implementation filed by the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRP), which signaled the exit of the BRPs at SAA since the process started in December 2019.

Takatso is 51% black-owned.

SAA can expect an investment of R3 billion from Takatso, while the name of the airline is still the same.

Gordhan said that the government would not be putting any more money into SAA and that all funding would come from Takatso.

The new airline will be launched once all “due diligence” has been completed. This was expected to take a couple of weeks, he said.

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