The government of South Africa has said that to keep the operations of its national carrier, South African Airways running, it had resolved to sell off a chunk of the stake in the airline to a consortium.
The move by the government would transform the flag carrier into a privatised airline.
Speaking on the selloff, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, said, in a virtual conference, “Having evaluated the current environment, the government has agreed to the (strategic equity partner) owning of 51 percent of the shareholding and government 49 percent.”
Gordhan noted that “The new SAA will not be dependent on” the South African Government.
Adding that “With this partnership, we believe we are closer to achieving the important objective of having a sustainable national airline.
“This is a demonstration of South Africa’s ability to develop an entirely homegrown solution to successfully relaunch SAA as a sustainable, competitive and transformed airline. And once again, so we understand this clearly, this airline is not dependent on the fiscus.”
A big investor in African investor, Harith General Partners, and an aircraft wet lease company, Global Airways, are the companies that make up the consortium.
Co-founder of Harith General Partners, Tshepo Mahloele, remarked, “We have deployed more than a billion dollars into a portfolio of critical infrastructure assets across the African continent that support regional economies.”
“Global’s [Aviation] operating model is unique, highly efficient and fit for purpose for a newly launched airline.”
South African Airways’s finances, for years, had been tottering, leading to many calling for a bailout.