Parly lawyers given deadline to explain legality of SAA bailout

In total, the airline is expected to get R10 billion to keep it operational.

FILE: A South African Airways plane. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN – Members of Parliament (MPs) have given Parliament’s lawyers until 17 October to explain whether South African Airways (SAA) R3 billion bailout is legal.

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance is expecting the legislature’s legal advisers to provide clarity on the lawfulness of Treasury’s decision to give the ailing airline a massive cash injection.

In total, the airline is expected to get R10 billion to keep it operational.

Section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act allows the Finance Minister to authorise the use of funds in exceptional circumstances.

But in such cases, money is usually allocated through an Appropriations Bill tabled in Parliament.

Finance committee chairperson Yunus Carrim said most MPs believe Treasury should have followed this route.

He said Treasury still has to explain the conditions associated with the bailout.

The committee wants the airline to hold its much-anticipated annual general meeting (AGM) on 3 November.

Lawmakers expect the current board chairperson’s term to end around that time.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)