Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says acquisition of a strategic partner for South African Airways (SAA) could be concluded in the next four to six weeks.
Gordhan said this when briefing media after tabling his department’s budget vote during a mini-plenary of the National Assembly.
He was speaking as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said SAA and the global aviation industry have seen the demand for air travel plummeting by 65.9% in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As you know, SAA is now out of business rescue as of end April. There is an interim board in place and an interim top management. Many weeks of work went into looking at the issue of a strategic equity partner. There has been good progress in this regard and hopefully in the near future, announcements will be made in this respect,” he said.
Addressing Members of Parliament) earlier, Gordhan said of the business rescue process: “I want to convey regret and solidarity with the employees of SAA and their unions. This has been a difficult process. But we are not too far from achieving government’s objectives: a viable airline, not dependent on the fiscus, with the agility to cope with uncertain times. Our success will be measured in how efficiently and how quickly we get the job done.”