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SAA exits administration after 17 months

DPE says the government is in the final stages of negotiations with a preferred equity partner for SAA.
Image: Guillem Sartorio/Bloomberg
Struggling national airline South African Airways (SAA) on Friday exited a local form of bankruptcy protection called business rescue after roughly 17 months.

SAA was placed under administration in December 2019, and its long-standing financial woes worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. All operations were mothballed in September 2020.

Its administrators said in a statement that they had filed a notice of “substantial implementation” of a business rescue plan with South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

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That meant they had “effectively discharged the business rescue and handed over the operations of SAA back to its board and executive team”, adding SAA was now solvent.

The airline is one of a handful of South African state companies that depend on government bailouts, placing the budget under huge strain at a time of rapidly rising debt.

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the ministry responsible for SAA, said the government was in the final stages of negotiations with a preferred equity partner for SAA.

“A purchase and sale agreement should be concluded in the next few weeks. This will enable capital, and much-needed technical and commercial expertise to be brought in to ensure a competitive flag carrier emerges,” it said in a statement.

Neither the administrators nor the DPE said when SAA might resume flights.


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Wow — after how many millions for doing nuthing ???

R 10,5 billion. Where did that money go ?

Me thinks this is happening in a desperate bid by the DPE to ‘posture’ SAA as being in a suitable position to resolve matters which are plaguing the airlines subsidiaries…Mango, SAAT, etc.
Furthermore, there ain’t no equity partner that’ll exist outside of a government affiliate, or by extension, taxpayers.

Not much has changed 17 months later!

Just a huge anc con job.

Problem is the scourge of incompetent anc cadre’s deployed as well.

Its an infestation that is the death of anything. Especially something that is supposed to fly.

HEISH!!!! These people?????

Concur — they succeeded in getting a turd painted yellow and got it handed back at a profit for the cadres !!

Well, Mango is back in the air after making a part payment to Acsa. BUT Mango staff and air hostesses didn’t get paid and they’re furious because it seems this working with no pay will carry on for months. DPE and Gordhan where the money must come from, aren’t saying a word….

And who has got the guts to fly with them?
Not me, thank you, although I will be paying for the ticket anyway as a tax payer.

So, let me explain it in simple words – the company is still screwed, just in a slightly different way.

If SAA was a horse it would have been put down a long time ago

I wonder how they are going to fly this turkey – haven’t they just retrenched and pensioned off a number of their technical and maintenance staff?

Just operate it like a taxi outfit Graham, no skilled technical or maintenance staff required.

And whatever is left is anc wiz kids.


As they usually do; get local aviation authorities to write out a string of EXEMPTIONS every time they want to take off…
(You must’ve heard about the vaccine-collection flight to Brussels, and all the last-minute exemptions because the pilots were short on the required number of flying hours?)

I wonder what a ‘preferred equity partner’ really is? This Equity partner must be of abnormal low IQ.

GEPF in a JV with Numsa, operations outsourced to Cubana ?

I don’t believe one word of this.

Aside from the fat cat government employees who will fly in business class where do they hope to get passengers from?? Not from any South Africans.

They will have to move business class to the back in order to attain the required attitude for landing.

They may just as well take an anvil, slap a SAA sticker on it, order an affirmative action pilot to sit on it, call it an airline, and search for an “equity partner” to buy it.

R10 billion says Pravin Gordhan is not done wasting our money on this pie in the sky.

LoL; DPE says the sale will bring in “much needed technical and commercial expertise….”
Does that mean the ANC is dropping its Cadre Deployment policy now?

Reuters makes it all sound so simple and straight forward; why not mention the R3.5bn that must FIRST be found to settle old debt before any plane can take off?

Aha…is THAT perhaps the “capital injection” from the mystery buyer DPE is talking about?
Prospective buyer must have deep pockets….could be Sisulu’s Cubans, but they’re bankrupt themselves. So it’s got to be Russians or Chinese….

Maybe Turkish Air in quid pro quo for power ships. Delay could be legal challenge to IPP confirmation…

“ The airline is one of a handful of South African state companies that depend on government bailouts”

We wish! Maybe more like two score and ten

It’s not only an SAA airbus that experienced a serious safety issue recently: Mango, its low cost subsidiary, government-owned, had a serious safety incident on 25 Jan this year when the aircraft suddenly lost cabin pressure on a flight from JHB to Durban. Oxygen masks had to be released 27000 ft up in the air!
The prelim report issued by the safety authorities – because the investigation into the cause of the incident is still ongoing more than 3 months after the incident with not a word about when it will be completed – stated that “most” of the masks dropped down (when the cabin pressure dropped.) The prelim report doesn’t indicate why ALL the masks didn’t release and drop. This all is according to Times Live in a Feb article.

End of comments.





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