JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the latest South African Airways (SAA) bailout will make no difference to the cash crisis at the national carrier given the millions it’s losing every single day.
National Treasury announced that its given SAA a financial lifeline of R2.3 billion to settle its debt to Standard Chartered Bank.
The cash strapped airline has been failing to submit its financial statements for years, surviving on bailouts from government.
The DA’s Alf Lees says Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba must tell Parliament within 14 days why this expenditure was authorised as an "emergency".
Lees says SAA is also battling to pay salaries.
"We have been saying for a long time that the situation is not easily fixable with the current board, particularly with Ms Dudu Myeni as board chair. The debt burden the airline has picked up has just led to losses month after month."
In a statement released on Saturday, Treasury said the payment was done in terms of the Public Finance Management Act which gives Gigaba power to authorise the use of funds to defray expenditure of an exceptional nature.
The bailout comes a week after Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane said SAA’s financial troubles would have a ripple effect on government’s entire loan guarantee framework.
Mogajane addressed Parliament’s standing committee on finance at the time.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)