Board has work cut out to repair damage to SAA's reputation, Treasury tells MPs

South African Airways (SAA) will have to overcome the stigma of being put into business rescue in its efforts to take to the skies once more, Parliament has been told.

SAA plane at O.R. Tambo International Airport. Image: 123rf

CAPE TOWN - South African Airways (SAA) will have to overcome the stigma of being put into business rescue in its efforts to take to the skies once more, Parliament has been told.

The Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Phumulo Masualle said that an agreement on a strategic equity partner for the national carrier could be concluded in six to eight weeks.

But National Treasury said that SAA would also need to repair the airline’s reputational damage and win back the public's trust.

Parliament’s select committees on appropriations and public enterprises were given an update by Public Enterprises officials on Wednesday. Among other things, MPs wanted to know about the damage done to SAA’s brand.

National Treasury’s Tshepiso Moahloli had this to say:

“How do we deal with the reputational harm that has been caused to SAA? I think that the board, now that they have the airline back, working with the shareholder and management, would need to work out a plan to reposition the airline to ensure that the reputational harm that was done for the past period when SAA was not able to honour its obligations, was in the news for all the wrong things and also to ensure that the business rescue stigma is dealt with and SAA is placed on a path where again it can be a trusted airline. They will have their work cut out to ensure that that is done.”

Masualle told the meeting that an agreement with an, as yet, unnamed strategic equity partner could be concluded within the next six to eight weeks.

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