SAA will not collapse even if Takatso Consortium deal doesn’t go through: Hanekom

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Chairperson of South African Airways (SAA), Derek Hanekom says the airliner will not collapse even if the Takatso Consortium deal does not go through. The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the sale of 51 % of SAA stake to Takatso Consortium.

The airliner says it has posted a historical operating profit for the first time since it was plunged into financial difficulties.

SAA aircraft took to the skies again two years ago, after they were grounded due to financial woes. The airliner’s executives have told Parliament that despite the turbulence of the past, there are positive signs of recovery. And, that SAA has posted an operating profit.

“The further good news is that should, and we certainly don’t anticipate because it’s really between the shareholder and the consortium, we don’t have no reason to be jittery about it doesn’t seem to be, but should anything go astray shouldn’t it go through the airliner will not collapse,” Hanekom, elaborates.

But, SAA says it can’t quantify the profit made as the figures are yet to be audited.

“It’s very historical for SAA that for the first time in a long time we will be able to come to the committee and say we have made a profit. The amount is substantially enough that even if there are accruals and adjustments we will still be able to say we have made operational profit,” CEO Professor John Lamola explains.

Strategic equity partner

Some members of parliament (MPs) have questioned the rationale for continuing with the sale of a stake of SAA if there are signs of recovery. But, authorities say there is a need for a strategic equity partner.

“The additional partner is required in order to put in money which will enable  the airline to expand along the lines that the prof spoke about meaning in systematic ways based on commercial criteria and the reasonable chance of successful those routes paying back so to speak its own cost for a start let alone the profit they will make in that regard,” Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan explains.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it is looking into a complaint against the Takatso Consortium deal.

Hanekom says SAA will not collapse even if the Takatso Consortium deal fails: