Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

EFF calls out Gordhan on move to reject SAA's request of R10 billion in funding

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 15, 2020

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Johannesburg - The EFF says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is determined to see the collapse of state-owned entity South African Airways.

The party says Gordhan's rejection of requests made by business rescue practitioners for SAA was meant to see the company collapse and for its employees to suffer in poverty.

A letter had emerged on Wednesday in which the department of public enterprises informed business rescue practitioners that the R10 billion they had requested would not be provided.

The department would also not be issuing any further guarantees which would enable the airline to borrow money to fund its operations.

SAA has for years failed to make a profit and has survived on government bailouts and guarantees. In December last year, the airline was placed under business rescue by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Business rescue practitioners were appointed to take of the company's affairs. Some of the changes made by the practitioners included cutting down on unprofitable routes and only leaving Joburg and Cape Town routes domestically operational.

"The EFF condemns the deliberate collapse of SAA by the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan has done this by creating an environment of fiscal uncertainty and arrogantly dismissing advisory provided by appointed business rescue practitioners," the party said in a statement on Wednesday.

The EFF said the R10bn being requested was not a bailout but was part of funds promised by the government to help fund SAA during the rescue process.

"Although the global Covid-19 pandemic has stretched the finances of the government thin, these are funds that should have long been allocated but have not due to Gordhan's determination to collapse SAA and subject its employees to poverty," it said.

"It is therefore clear that Gordhan has no intention of rescuing SAA or protecting the incomes of its employees. He has no appreciation for the need for a domestic airline owned by the state.

"This is dangerous if one considers that if it was not for SAA, we would not as a nation be able to repatriate citizens stranded in foreign countries in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic."

The party said a multi-ministerial oversight of state-owned enterprises was needed to prevent Gordhan leading to their collapse. 

Political Bureau

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