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SAA awaits Mboweni announcement on when it will receive rest of R21bn bailout

SAA spokesperson Tladi Tladi says the money is crucial to ensure the airline’s survival.

FILE: A South African Airways flight takes off as another one is parked in a bay on the tarmac at OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Airways (SAA) says it’s waiting on an announcement from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on when it will receive the rest of the R21 billion government bailout it requested.

The government paid the airline R5 billion of the sum in 2018.

SAA has also managed to secure a cash injection of R3.5 billion from banks to help it stay afloat until June.

SAA is looking to Mboweni, who is set to deliver his maiden Budget speech on Wednesday, to announce when the entity can expect the rest of the R21 billion government bailout.

SAA spokesperson Tladi Tladi says the money is crucial to ensure the airline’s survival.

“The shareholder is also under pressure to ensure that we meet as many requirements and obligations as possible. However, we’re taking it one step at a time and wait for the announcement to be made, if it’s going to be made, as far as SAA is concerned, on Wednesday.”

The state-owned entity is struggling to stay afloat with a debt of R12.7 billion, which the government has guaranteed.

The cash-strapped airline says it is currently exploring turnaround strategies to address its debt crisis, including the possible unbundling of the airline.

LISTEN: SAA says not unbundling, but changing the business model

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)