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Acsa needs over R11 billion to survive – Mbalula

The minister said Acsa and some major South African airlines could not be allowed to fail because they played a crucial role in the country’s economy.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at OR Tambo International Airport on 3 June 2020 to check adherence to a set of measures put in place to protect those who will be using the airport to get to their destinations. Pictures: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday said government was discussing how much money the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) would need to survive.

Mbalula said Acsa and some major South African airlines could not be allowed to fail because they played a crucial role in the country’s economy.

The aviation industry was one of the hardest-hit sectors because of the ban on air travel since the COVID-19 lockdown was implemented in March.

Mbalula said Acsa needed at least R11 billion to address the impact of the pandemic with domestic flights expected to resume operations soon.

But several airlines were in dire financial straits with SAA and Comair currently under business rescue.

Mbalula said the aviation sector needed money after being hit hard by the pandemic.

“Acsa alone will need over R11 billion to address the financial situation they are faced with. Government has hope, it is discussing a recovery plan on how we are going to assist,” Mbalula said.

“How we are going to address that is a matter that we are looking at and we are addressing it in the overall package of industries that are distress, and how we can actually intervene,” he added.

The minister said if Acsa failed, it meant a huge chunk of the economy would be wiped out too.

WATCH: Minister Mbalula assesses readiness of OR Tambo Airport