Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA) Archives

SAA hoping to pay its creditors R26bn by 2023

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Jul 15, 2021

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Johannesburg - Troubled national carrier SA Airways will start repaying the almost R26 billion it owes to its creditors next month.

The airline’s two receivers Siviwe Dongwana and Bongani Nkasana, this week, delivered its current list of creditors with the balance of their claims owing as at the end of June.

Dongwana and Nkasana told the creditors that as provided for in the adopted business rescue plan, they will receive the first of three dividend payments in respect of their claims by August 31.

The creditors were also asked to consider and confirm the quantum of their respective claims, alternatively provide the receivers with details of these claims.

SAA's creditors, who include other airlines, aviation companies, the SA Revenue Service, which is owed millions of rand, taxes on staff bonuses, and trade unions, are expected to be paid over the next three years.

According to the creditors’ list, SAA’s biggest creditors are Air Castle, who are owed more than R7.1 billion, Metal2017-1 Leasing XV R2.3bn, GE Capital Aviation Funding about R2.2bn, Oriental Leasing 7 Company R2bn, Avolon Aerospace and Air Mauritius are each owed almost R1.8bn and R1.7bn to Robert Watson.

Other creditors include Hannan Airlines Holdings owed R945 million, TC Skyward Aviation R882m, while Comair is owed more than R790m, CDB Aviation about R688m, Celestial Aviation over R467m, Wilmington Trust SP Services R417m and Rolls Royce Leasing R171.5m.

Dongwana and Nkasana officially commenced SAA’s receivership reconciliation process on July 1 after the airline exited its business rescue process.

Their duties include receiving the restructuring proceeds, making payments to pre-commencement creditors incorporating concurrent creditors and lessors and paying lenders.

The receivers have undertaken to make distributions to the creditors each year from August until 2023.

Dongwana and Nkasana’s undertaking to commence paying more than R25.7bn to its creditors come as unions representing government employees at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) are demanding an investigation into reports that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) may be a shareholder in SAA’s new strategic equity partner.

The unions want the PSCBC to urgently establish a working committee with the terms of reference to be drafted by the bargaining council’s general secretary, Frikkie de Bruin.

They are demanding clarity on investments made with Government Employees Pension Funds money.

The GEPF indicated that it understood the concerns raised by government employees and clarified to the unions that none of its funds was utilised by the PIC to invest in SAA by its partner Harith General Partners, which is one of the shareholders in Takatso Consortium, which was announced the 51% owner of the airline.

The majority of members of the SAA Pilots' Association (Saapa) this week reached an in-principle agreement with the airline, which will see them receiving salaries that have not been paid in 15 months, including a 13th cheque from 2019.

The agreement potentially averts next month’s South Gauteng High Court application, set down for August 4, by Saapa to force SAA to force the airline to pay the pilots’ salaries.

SAA has suspended all its domestic and regional flights until August 31 and October 30 for international flights due to Covid-19.

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Political Bureau

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