The DA welcomes today’s cabinet announcement that SAA will be moved to be managed by Treasury. This is a positive development, and we call on Finance Minister Nene to find practical solutions to the situation at SAA that will not require further bailouts from the state.
In fact, this latest move paves the way for Minister Nene to engage with the private sector on the possibility of restructuring SAA, or even to privatise the entity. I will write to Minister Nene today to request that he immediately start conducting a feasibility study for SAA’s privatisation.
It is concerning however, that cabinet has announced three turnaround plans for Eskom, SAA and the Post Office, and none of them have seen the light of day in Parliament. In addition to writing to Minister Nene, I will write to Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown, under whose watch the turnaround plans for SAA and Eskom surely must have been crafted, to present these plans to Parliament for oversight by the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises. This recent move by the Cabinet is clear evidence that Minster Brown was never the right person to turn SAA around.
Crucially, the DA will push for these plans to contain privatisation measures to reduce the burden on the state and free up more resources.
SAA is technically no longer a going concern. The annual financial statements of the airline are still being withheld by the Department of Public Enterprises until SAA can provide the assurance that it is a going concern.
This in essence means that SAA is bankrupt.
This is now the third year in succession that SAA has had to delay holding its annual general meeting and the release of its annual results pending the receipt of state assistance.
We can no longer allow this to continue. Treasury must implement the turnaround plan, subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, and Minister Nene must start exploring the possibility of privatisation at SAA.
Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
Source : Democratic Alliance