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Tito Mboweni announces further bailouts for SOEs

SAA and SAA Express will be getting more cash to keep them in the sky, while the Post Office is also getting a handout to contain its debt.

FILE: An SAA aircraft. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Government’s struggling airlines are again set to get a helping hand from the fiscus. SAA and SAA Express will both be getting bailouts.

Delivering the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statements in Parliament on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says he’s working with the Public Enterprises Minister to limit the fiscal cost of these measures.

Following months of talks about whether to merge SAA and SA Express – no decision has yet been taken.

But for now, each of the airlines will be getting more cash to keep them in the sky.

SAA will be getting R5 billion to help the airline repay a R14.2 billion debt due in March.

This is on top of the R10 billion it received in December to pay lenders and fund its day-to-day operations.

SA Express will receive a R1.2 billion injection.

"Reconfiguring our state-owned companies requires us to take a hard look at how they operate. Our current challenges with state-owned companies present an opportunity to demolish the walls that exist between the private and public sectors."

The Post Office is also getting a handout to contain its debt.

Now responsible for also paying social grants, the Post Office will receive R2.9 billion.

It’s recorded a loss of almost R1 billion in the past financial year.

READ: The full MTPBS

Speech by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd