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7 buyers interested in SA Express, liquidators tell Scopa

The regional carrier was put into business rescue in February after a creditor launched an urgent court application for its liquidation. The liquidators came into office on 13 May.

Picture: SA Express.

CAPE TOWN - The liquidators of SA Express (SAX) said that seven potential buyers have expressed interest in the embattled state-owned airline.

Aviwe Ndyamara and fellow liquidators are appearing before Parliament’s Standing committee on Public Accounts (Scopa).

The committee was outraged when they failed to appear before it last week, leading to it resolving that they be subpoenaed to come, if necessary.

The regional carrier was put into business rescue in February after a creditor launched an urgent court application for its liquidation. The liquidators came into office on 13 May.

The liquidators’ term before a final order of liquidation comes due was last week extended by three months to 9 September.

SAX liquidator Aviwe Ndyamara said this would allow for a sales process to take place instead of just the assets of the company being sold off. He said that two SAX licences were due to expire at the end of July, which would have impacted on the company’s lease agreements and its sale prospects.

“We are in the process of engaging, there are six – in fact from this morning, there’s about seven interested parties that we are currently engaging. So chair, the next route for us is to proceed with an investment or a sales process, a transparent process where we either attract an investor or alternatively we pursue the disposal of the assets of the airline in order to satisfy creditors’ claims.”

Ndyamara said employees’ claims for unpaid salaries since 25 March would become payable once secured creditors are paid out. But he has warned there might not be money left over for this.

“It is unclear at this stage if there will be residue (money left over from the process) for the payment of employee claims.”

SAX has 691 employees whose contracts are currently suspended.

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