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Treasury considers PIC as SAA equity partner

Last week Malusi Gigaba told the National Assembly that the government had yet to decide on a minority equity partner for SAA.

South African Airways plane. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN – National Treasury is considering various options to recapitalise South African Airways (SAA), including the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) as a possible equity partner.

Last week Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told the National Assembly that the government had yet to decide on a minority equity partner for SAA and said it might not be a private entity.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) pressed acting director-general Dondo Mogejane for answers when SAA and Treasury briefed parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance earlier on Wednesday.

The DA’s Alf Lees asked whether the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) would be used, through the public investment corporation, to refinance SAA.

“We’re left with the distinct impression there’s going to be an attempt to get the GEPF through PIC to be the so-called public equity partner."

Mogejane was non-committal but did not discount the possibility.

“The long-term view is let’s have options of looking at all that’s available to us.”

The DA’s David Maynier said: “I find that frankly terrifying that Treasury would even consider using pensioners’ savings to bail out SAA, which is a serial loss-making, failing state-owned company that has in my view no prospect of ever becoming profitable or sustainable ever.”

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