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Gungubele: No less than R60bn required to shut down SAA

Deputy Finance Minister Gungubele told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations that the government had considered the impact of liquidating SAA.

FILE: An SAA aircraft. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele says it could cost as much as R60 billion to shut down South African Airways (SAA).

This is three times the amount he says that the cash-strapped airline needs to keep going and to restructure.

Gungubele revealed the figure when addressing Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday.

South African Airways is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Deputy Finance Minister Gungubele says it needs a cash injection. The state-owned carrier has to repay more than R9 billion in debt in March next year, but needs more money on top of that to stay afloat.

"Over and above that, R12 billion would be required."

Gungubele told the committee that the government had considered the impact of liquidating SAA.

"Our calculations, chair, is that the implications are no less than R60 billion."

SAA and Treasury are in talks with banks for an open line of credit.

Gungubele says with the R20 billion, SAA will have a chance to possibly break even by 2021.

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