Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Reuters
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Reuters

Gordhan blames lack of finances for SAX liquidation

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jul 28, 2020

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Cape Town - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has blamed the lack of finances for operations at the South African Express as the reason for not appealing a judgment to liquidate the airline.

Gordhan revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question from EFF MP Rosina Komane, who asked why he declined the request to appeal.

In his response, the minister said the business rescue practitioners had applied to court to convert the business rescue process into liquidation because they could not get post- commencement finance to fund the operations of the airline.

"For a party to liquidation to successfully oppose the liquidation application, that respondent must provide finance," he said.

"Without providing finance for operations at SAX, a party to liquidation cannot successfully oppose the liquidation application. As there was no finance available for SAX, the minister did not oppose or appeal judgment to liquidate SA Express," Gordhan said.

Responding to a question from COPE MP Willie Madisha on steps taken to resolve the outstanding staff salary bill at the entity, Gordhan said his department has been engaging with the Unemployment Insurance Fund to identify solutions.

Gordhan also said his department has held several engagements with the Department of Trade and Industry, including the UIF, to assist with the payment for March and proceeding months.

"The engagement focused on the request for assistance on the provision of salaries through the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme," he said in another question from EFF MP Omphile Maotwe.

In a separate question Madisha asked what would happen to the management executive of SAX after the collapse of the entity.

Gordhan said the airline's management executive would no longer be employed at SAX should the airline cease to operate.

"The joint liquidators are duly bound to investigate the affairs of the company and the reasons for its failure. This is one of the many aspects that will be attended to in the liquidation process," he said.

"However, the liquidator has been looking into the possibility of an equity investor," Gordhan added.

Political Bureau

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