Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
12 Jun 2021
10:37 am

DA questions SAA privatisation

Siyanda Ndlovu

 "The Consortium consists of Harith General partners, an African infrastructure and airports investor with strong links to the ANC and the PIC, and Global Airways, and will own 51% of SAA," reads the party's statemen

Picture: Thulani Mbele

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has questioned the privatisation deal between South African Airways (SAA) and  Takatso Consortium.

On Friday Public Enterprise Minister announced the consortium as the new strategic partner for SAA.

The DA, however, says “this may be too little too late for the bankrupt airline,” and raised concerns surrounding the deal.

 “The Consortium consists of Harith General partners, an African infrastructure and airports investor with strong links to the ANC and the PIC, and Global Airways, and will own 51% of SAA,” reads the party’s statement.

The party said it was concerned that the board of Harith General Partners is chaired by Jabu Moloketi.

Moloketi chaired the Public Investment Corporation, and was also Deputy Finance Minister, when Harith was granted R17 million in seed funding back in 2006.

“It is noteworthy that, whenever the ANC engages in public-private partnerships, it is almost always ANC bigwigs that benefit most,” the statement said.

The party is also deeply concerned by government’s confirmation that the Consortium is still to undertake a normal due diligence exercise before the definitive sale and purchase agreement is completed.

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It also raised concerns around the subsidiaries of SAA, most notably Mango.

“The Minister only stated that the future of the subsidiaries is still to be determined through a joint assessment with the Consortium, without giving any further detail. It is disconcerting that the announcement of a strategic equity partner has been made in light of the fact that the Consortium still has to carry out its due diligence and that the issue surrounding SAA’s subsidiaries is still not even close to being resolved.”

The DA fears that the Department of Public Enterprises has jumped the gun on the matter in a vain attempt to “placate taxpayers whose monies are being wasted on an airline that should have been sold off in its entirety long ago.”