Embattled state airline, South African Airways (SAA), will received the cash injection it so desperately needs to continue operations again. Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan announced on Friday, 11 June that government will not be giving any more money to SAA – and that a new strategic partner has invested in the company and will now own a 51% stake in the airline.
Government reached an agreement with Takatso Consortium, a black-owned company, who will pump R3-billion into the struggling airline. Government will still own the other 49%.
According to Gordhan, the new airline will only be operational again once “due diligence” has been completed in a few weeks time. Concerns that SAA will not be run from South Africa were dispelled, as they plan on managing all operations from here.
“SAA will be owned by a partnership between government and a strategic equity partner. Having evaluated the current environment, government has agreed to the SEP owning 51% of the shareholding and government 49% of the shareholding,” Gordhan said.
“The strategic equity partner is known as Takatso, which is a consortium, and the word Takatso in Sotho means aspire. And this consortium is 51% black-owned. It brings together two very resourceful entities, Harith, which is a funder and interest structure investor and an airport owner and a global airways which has sufficient and interesting experience in the airline industry.”
SAA went into business rescue earlier this year, and in April the business rescue process officially ended. At the time, they said they were looking for partnerships to pull the airline out of trouble.
Gordhan praised the buy out, saying it showed South Africa’s ability to develop an entirely home-grown solution.