Radebe con­firms R10bn bailout for SAA

The Star Late Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE MIN­IS­TER in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe has added his voice to that of se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials that SAA will re­ceive a R10 bil­lion bailout.

Radebe’s state­ment in the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces (NCOP) yes­ter­day came the day af­ter Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had told the House the same thing.

Radebe was an­swer­ing ques­tions in the NCOP when EFF and DA mem­bers asked him about the bailout.

Radebe said Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba would give more de­tails on the mat­ter in the next few weeks.

Ad­dress­ing the NCOP on Wed­nes­day, Ramaphosa told MPs a Spe­cial Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Bill will be tabled in Par­lia­ment be­fore the end of the month.

On the same day, the Na­tional Trea­sury’s di­rec­tor-gen­eral Dondo Mo­ga­jane also con­firmed to the stand­ing com­mit­tee on fi­nance that the Spe­cial Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Bill would be tabled be­fore the end of the month, as this was an ur­gent mat­ter.

SAA needs the money to re­pay banks which it owes R6.8bn.

The EFF asked if the Pres­i­dency had in­flu­enced the Trea­sury to bail out SAA, but Radebe de­nied the Pres­i­dency was be­hind the bailout and said Gi­gaba had in­di­cated he would ad­dress it.

“The ap­pro­pri­ate per­son is the min­is­ter of fi­nance who will make a de­ci­sion in the next few weeks,” he said.

SAA has been bleed­ing fi­nan­cially over the last few years and has sur­vived on gov­ern­ment bailouts amount­ing to al­most R20bn over the past 10 years.

The gov­ern­ment has said it would con­sider sell­ing its 39% stake at Telkom worth R13bn to get the money to fund SAA.

But op­po­si­tion par­ties were not happy in the NCOP about the bailout to SAA.

The DA’s Chris Hat­tingh said the gov­ern­ment can­not con­tinue to res­cue ail­ing sta­te­owned en­ti­ties.

He added that the gov­ern­ment had al­lowed the loot­ing of SOEs by the Gup­tas.

The Gup­tas have de­nied the al­le­ga­tions in the past.

Nk­ag­isang Koni of the EFF also ac­cused the Gup­tas of loot­ing SOEs and the gov­ern­ment of fail­ing to stop them.

She wanted to know from Radebe if the Pres­i­dency was be­hind the R10bn bailout to SAA, but this was de­nied by the min­is­ter.

Radebe said they were mon­i­tor­ing the work of SOEs and align­ing it with the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan.

He asked MPs to be pa­tient with the gov­ern­ment in im­prov­ing the bal­ance sheet of state en­ti­ties.

“As I have in­di­cated in my ear­lier reply, there is a mech­a­nism to mon­i­tor SOEs. We shall im­prove over time.

“There was the Pres­i­den­tial Re­view Com­mis­sion where re­struc­tur­ing is dis­cussed on an on­go­ing ba­sis,” he said yes­ter­day.

Radebe ac­knowl­edged that the poor per­for­mance of SOEs would not yield good re­sults.

“All the SOEs are com­mit­ted to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NDP.

“Due to the fi­nan­cial chal­lenges that many SOEs are hav­ing, that could re­tard progress. We should im­prove the per­for­mance of the SOEs,” said Radebe.

QUES­TIONED: Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe

‘LOOTED BY GUP­TAS’: The DA’s Chris Hat­tingh

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.