Loubser: SAA need more than bailouts

The ex-SAA board member says the airline will not be saved by government's R5 billion loan.

South African Airways plane. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Johannesburg Stock Exchange head and ex-South African Airways (SAA) board member Russell Loubser said the national carrier would not be saved by government's R5 billion loan.

Loubser was speaking about the country's economic state at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg.

He also attacked government, labour unions and former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and his colleagues.

Loubser said he resigned from the SAA board because of a lack of faith from shareholders.

He said government was not fully behind the company, even though they were willing to provide the multibillion rand loan.

He said staff working at the national carrier needed moral and great financial support.

Loubser said the company would need more than just the current bailout, as costs were simply too high to sustain the airline and added that SAA was an easy competitor for other companies and that new airlines could do well in South Africa, even in the current economic climate.

On Malema, Loubser said he and the youth league never spoke of ways to create wealth and value in the country, but that they continuously spoke of how to redistribute wealth.

"Today's ANCYL is not the ANCYL of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Oliver Tambo. The ANCYL of today is a disgrace and an embarrassment."