The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the South African Airways (SAA) Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) of misleading the public when they announced that National Treasury had provided another letter of commitment to provide the R10.4 billion required to relaunch the ailing airline.

The party says National Treasury had not made a commitment to cut budgets or redirect cash to fund any SAA bailout.

DA MP Alf Lees has challenged both the BRPs and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to produce the letter of commitment if they dispute his assertion.

He says it is astounding that there can be any consideration of budget cuts in other departments to fund SAA when South Africa had to borrow money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just to cope with the economic meltdown caused by government’s COVID-19 lockdown.

“It seems clear that the reason that the BRPs refused to make the letter from “the Government” public was because it does not stipulate that Minister Tito Mboweni and National Treasury had agreed to move money from other budgeted expenditure in order to make R10.4 billion available to SAA. We believe that Minister Gordhan and the SAA BRPs were being obtuse and misled South Africans,” says Lees.

On Friday, the airlines’ BRPs confirmed receiving a letter from the department and Treasury making a commitment to provide the R10.4 billion funding needed to restructure SAA.
The BRPs met with creditors to discuss the way forward for the airline. They say they have exhausted funds to keep the airline afloat.
The Department of Public Enterprises has confirmed that it is finalising funding for the airline and an announcement will be made in an Adjustments Appropriation Bill that would be introduced to Parliament.
NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola on SAA funding: