(Ecofin Agency) - The coronavirus crisis came as the killer blow to South Africa Airways (SAA), already at the end of its rope. In a May 1 statement, SA’s public enterprise’s minister announced that the country will move forward with a new national carrier.
According to the department, the future company will be structured around qualified management with skilled and competitive staff that will meet the post-covid-19 challenges. For its launch, the government is considering several ownership options “such as strategic equity partners, donors, and the sale of non-core assets.”
However, the ministry points out that the success of the project will involve “sacrifices, pain, and hardship for all concerned, especially [South African Airways] employees” who could lose their jobs. SAA currently employs more than 5,000 workers.
The bankruptcy of SAA puts an end to 86 years of operation marked by scandals of mismanagement and corruption over the last decade. The company has seen no less than ten interim and permanent managing directors pass through the last ten years.
The government needs to settle many unclear aspects if it wants to see this future company emerge 'as a catalyst for investment, job creation in key sectors and economic growth in all parts of the country,' as the Department of Public Enterprise hopes.