The Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, announced yesterday that South African Airways (SAA) operating losses for the 2012/13 financial year amounted to nearly R1 billion.
He also confirmed that SAA has been granted a R5 billion bailout by the National Treasury and that he would be seeking further funding from Treasury for the airliner’s turnaround strategy announced last year.
South Africa simply cannot continue with ‘business as usual’ any longer.
SAA has been granted an excess of R16 billion over 20 years to stay in the air. All nine turnaround strategies presented over 13 years by various Ministers of Public Enterprises have not worked.
Government needs to stop throwing good money at a bad problem. Indeed, SAA is proving to be a dark hole for public funding and therefore diverting much needed funds that could help grow the economy and create jobs.
Despite repeated requests that SAA be privatised, current Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has turned a deaf ear.
It is time for this to end. South Africa simply cannot afford anymore bailouts.
Minister Gigaba must now get his act together and initiate the privatisation of SAA.