As the debate on the latest developments at South African Airways (SAA) continues to take place – political parties have mixed views on the public-private partnership which saw SAA owning 49% of the company and Takatso Consortium taking the 51% stake.
Some raised questions that politically exposed individuals like Jabu Moleketi and Popo Molefe had influence in Takatso Consortium being appointed as the private equity partner.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has refuted any allegations that African National Congress (ANC) aligned businessmen influenced the deal.
“Minister Gordhan has hindered too shrouded these agreements in complete secrecy but very serious questions remain now that he has made a very general announcement, how these agreements tie in crucially to the PMFA requirements, who benefits from the agreements and particurlary ANC cadres and the conflict of lift. There are many questions here,” says Chaleb Cachalia, Democratic Alliance.
SAA private sector ownership deal raising concerns
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have a standing resolution that SOEs must be squarely in the hands of the government.
“Eskom is collapsing. Where are you? Denel is collapsing where are you? And SAA is dead. SA Express is gone. Mango is gone and yet Pravin is declared the best minister by white owned minister. If it was Gigaba, there would be marches,” says Julius Malema, EFF leader.
The IFP’s Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi says the party supports government’s move to partially sell SAA shares in order to protect taxpayers’ money from being used further to bail out the airline.
“The IFP welcomes the sale of SAA with 51% equity partner, this a very for tax payers. This is a step in the right direction that government has taken this bold decision in addressing SOEs. We call for close attention on Takatso Consortium,” says Buthelezi.
The political landscape divided over the sale of 51% of South African Airways to Takatso Consortium
Political Analyst, Khaya Sithole says this is a matter of waiting and see how things will turn out at SAA moving forward.
“Talking about what are the possible further challenges that SAA could find itself facing going forward – this after this purchase by Takatso Consortium,” says Sithole.
Attempts to get a view from the ANC were unsuccessful. However the governing party has a standing resolution of public-private partnerships in order to rescue failing state-owned enterprises like SAA and power utility Eskom.