Trade union UASA said that funds from the Development Bank of South Africa should not have been used to "rescue" national carrier SAA.  File picture: Reuters/Rogan Ward
Trade union UASA said that funds from the Development Bank of South Africa should not have been used to "rescue" national carrier SAA. File picture: Reuters/Rogan Ward

Development Bank is not responsible for rescuing failing SAA - union

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jan 29, 2020

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Durban - Trade union UASA said on Wednesday that funds from the state-owned Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) should not have been used to "rescue" national carrier South African Airlines (SAA). 

The ailing airline went into voluntary business rescue in December. On Tuesday, its business rescue practitioners said they had managed to secure R3.5 billion from the DBSA to tide SAA over. 

Of that amount, R2 billion had been made available to draw down. Government had been struggling to get the R2 billion it promised as an additional bailout for the carrier. 

UASA spokesperson Stanford Mazhindu said the union was "disappointed" SAA’s business rescue process "has resulted in yet more money being thrown into the proven black hole the airline has become". 

Money used to bail out the national carrier could not and would not be recovered, he added. 

"It is shocking that the wholly state-owned DBSA has agreed to provide the funds to keep SAA in the air while it is, in its own words, responsible for the infrastructure development in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. 

"The bank is responsible for planning, project preparation, financing and implementation of development projects, not for funding failing state-owned enterprises," said Mazhindu.  

UASA believed the DBSA should instead have used the money to build hospitals, or improve the state of current hospitals and roads, he said.  

"SAA has already received close to R16,5 billion in bailouts over the past decade from the South African taxpayer, and it has become clear beyond a doubt that unless drastic measures are taken at SAA in terms of management and governance, giving the airline more money will make no difference." 

African News Agency (ANA)

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