Political analyst, Professor Sam Koma, says it remains to be seen whether the multi-billion rand Takatso Aviation/SAA deal will turn around the fortunes of the embattled airline.
The Competition Tribunal gave the green light for Takatso Aviation to acquire a 51% stake in SAA from government.
The remaining 49% will be retained by the Department of Public Enterprises.
Koma says the deal should be able to accelerate the country’s tourism sector.
He has also slammed the consortium over its silence on SAA’s R2 billion debt.
He says the deal remains mum on whether Takatso will inherit the debt or government will foot the bill.
“We have been on this path before, since 1996, with the selling of equity stake in the SAA to private individuals without yielding sustainable and profitable results for the airline,” says Koma.
Takatso’s spokesperson, Thulasizwe Simelane, says the organisation will keep SAA’s staff and bring in additional expertise where needed.
“Takatso Aviation also notes the confirmation by the Competition Tribunal, of the Competition Commission-imposed condition requiring a minimum number of employees to be maintained at SAA post-merger, for a period of five years,” he says.
Simelane elaborates in the video below:
The Department of Public Enterprises has also welcomed the Competition Tribunal’s decision.
Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, says he is confident that the repositioning of SAA sets a very good example of what can be achieved when the right financial and operational framework is given to state-owned companies.
“It is very gratifying to see that we are on the verge of having SAA finally infused with the requisite strategic vision, expertise, and capital by Takatso,” says Minister Gordhan.
He adds that the decision shows the amount of hard work that went into the deal, considering that SAA was on the brink of liquidation.
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza