The African National Congress (ANC)-led alliance on Thursday called on government to finance the restructuring of South African Airways (SAA) and do everything possible to avoid its collapse.
The governing party and its alliance partners – the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) – said they would want to see a new viable and growing national airline.
The airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) had recently published its business rescue plan, warning they would need billions of rand of taxpayer money to save the failing airline.
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said government should make available the appropriate finances to avoid the collapse of SAA.
“The alliance secretariat further resolved that everything possible must be done to urgently restore SAA operations,” Duarte said.
But that was going to come at a huge cost for taxpayers.
The BRPs indicated in their rescue plan that for the airline to be saved, government would have to cough up over R4.5 billion.
The SACP’s first deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, said the alliance wanted government to find the money.
“Government has given guarantees at the moment regarding the stimulus package interventions of over R200 billion to private businesses through commercial banks. We do not see any reason why a similar guarantee could not be given to our national airline,” Mapaila said.
Government said it was still deciding on whether it would fund the business rescue practitioners’ plan.