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DPE Lauds Restructuring of South African Airways

July 16, 2020

Department of Public Enterprises

The restructuring of South African Airways (SAA) has set an example for the South African public and private sector of a responsible business transformation process.

Kgathatso Tlhakudi, acting director-general (DG) of the public enterprises department, declared this at the SAA SOC Limited Creditors Meeting yesterday.

86% of creditors voted to support a business rescue plan for SAA.

The department regards the favourable vote as a much better outcome for creditors and SAA employees than liquidation.

The acting DG added that the “parties entered the process understanding everyone will have to give in a little to attain the bigger picture”.

Some of the reasons put forward by Tlhakudi as to why SAA taking to the skies is important for the country and the region include the ability to provide essential air services for the repatriation of South Africans stranded in other parts of the world and the flying of critical medical supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic, integration of the region is dependent on an effective air route network due to the large distances between economic centers, air connections are critical in ensuring that South Africa remains in the sights of foreign investors and the dependence on international tourism.

The DG pointed out that cabinet supports the concerted effort to mobilise funding, including from potential equity partners, to finance the business rescue plan.

“We need an SAA which will emerge from this restructuring and its subsidiaries to be attractive assets that will attract strategic equity partnerships and other business partners.”

The DG emphasized that productivity and efficiency will guide the performance system going forward.

He confirmed that the process of appointing a transaction advisor to deal with prospective strategic equity partners (SEP) is being concluded and preferred SEPs for the SAA group and its various business units will soon be announced.