Cabinet backs establishment of new airline


Cabinet has expressed support for the establishment of a new airline and has backed the concerted efforts to mobilise funding from various sources that will see the proposed carrier take off.

The mobilising of funding will include potential equity partners, government said in a post-Cabinet meeting statement.

At the meeting, which sat virtually on Wednesday, Cabinet received a progress report on the SAA business rescue process from the Inter-Minister Committee (IMC) on SAA, chaired by the Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

In the statement, Cabinet maintains that a positive vote from creditors to finalise the business rescue process is still the most viable and expeditious option for the national carrier to restructure its affairs, which include its business, its debt and other liabilities.

“Cabinet believes a restructured airline will pursue the transformational agenda, such as the lack of opportunities for the advancement of black pilots after 26 years into our democracy,” said Cabinet.

Government said the proposal for a new airline is the only realistic pathway from which a new viable, sustainable, competitive airline, which can provide an integrated domestic, regional and international services.

Meanwhile, during the meeting, Cabinet welcomed the 2020/21 supplementary adjustments budget delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday.

The said budget was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic downturn.

The Supplementary Budget sets out a roadmap to stabilise debt by improving spending patterns and creating a foundation for economic revival.

Cabinet said it is optimistic that the commitments announced by Mboweni will put the economy firmly on a solid and sustainable path, particularly if everyone joins government in implementing them.