- Amid escalating challenges, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has called for pulling the plug on SAA
- Financial difficulties have seen the state-owned entity at the centre of controversy in recent times
- Mboweni seems to feel this is the end of the road for the embattled airline
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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni feels it will be easier to close South African Airways down and start a new airline than to breathe life into the dying entity.
In an interview with Power 98.7, Mboweni voiced his opinion that the challenges facing SAA were unlikely to be sorted out and that it should close:
“Close it down and start a new airline. All together, invite [CEO of Standard Bank] Sim Tshabalala and others to come together and form a new airline."
The reasoning behind the minister's comments is that SAA remains unlikely to secure a private sector partner, Briefly.co.za gathered.
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SowetanLIVE reports that Mboweni made similar comments during his budget address last month:
“It is unlikely ever to generate sufficient cash flow to sustain operations in its current configuration, which then begs the question: how long are we going to be on this flight path? Forever? I think not. Operational and governance interventions are required urgently.”
This comes as employees enter into the sixth day of protests with tensions running high between trade unions and management.
In addition to protesting proposed job cuts, workers are calling for an 8% increase. However, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that SAA was busy scratching together funding to pay salaries:
“We may not have enough cash to pay salaries at the end of the month. We are still investigating how we can do that. This is a real-time discussion we are having with National Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises. We need help imminently.”
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