DA: Don’t discount use of PIC money to keep SAA going

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is expected to spell out the details of the emergency funding in his first mid-term budget policy statement on Wednesday.

FILE: An SAA aircraft. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it’s not discounting the possibility that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) will be used to help provide the R10 billion South African Airways needs to keep going.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is expected to spell out the details of the emergency funding in his first mid-term budget policy statement on Wednesday.

The DA believes that the ailing airline should be put into business rescue, stabilised and then privatised.

The DA’s deputy finance spokesperson, Alf Lees, says that while the removal of South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni is a step in the right direction, SAA is still in danger of crash-landing.

“The minister will have no option but to provide for both the emergency bailout of about R5,2 billion and a further R4,8 billion for working capital, in the adjustments budget.”

While unions have made it clear they don’t want government workers’ pensions put at risk, Lees says it’s still possible that the PIC will be involved.

“We should not discount the possibility of the PIC being used to bail out SAA.”

The DA believes the national carrier should be sold off, but the government is adamant that this is not an option.