Gordhan defends the disposal of government’s majority stake at SAA

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Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has once again defended the disposal of government’s majority stake at the South African Airways (SAA). He says there has been transparency in the deal with Takatso Consortium.

Gordhan faced a barrage of questions from MPs about the deal after tabling his department’s budget vote in Parliament on Friday.

Some opposition MPs claim the deal is shrouded in secrecy and have threatened legal action to uncover the details.

The sale of 51% of government’s stake to Takatso Consortium has caused controversy with now threats of litigation. The government says the national airliner was bleeding the national fiscus, hence the decision to sell some of its stakes.

“The sale of 51% of its share to the Takatso Consortium let me assure the public and honourable members that there has been absolute transparency in this process all the necessary legal processes were complied with notwithstanding the regrettable efforts by many to sabotage or undermine what is an important project in terms of reviewing SOE from the damage that was caused by state capture,” says Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister.

However, this did not convince some of the opposition MPs. They say the deal raises more questions than answers.

“There are still so many questions if there is real transparency. Answer those questions because the department does not, the media try to report on these issues to give South Africans clarity but there are no real answers. The department minister must now tell us what this transaction actually entails,” says Freedom Front Plus MP Wouter Wessel.

“There seems to be a consistent trend plundering SOEs that are strategic to the country that would help us with the socio-economic development needs of the country but also enable governmental state agenda using SOE’s with respect to SAA minister see us in court,” says United Democratic Movement MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.

Gordhan adds that the Takatso Consortium will inject R3-billion of working capital into the airliner.