Business / Business News

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
22 Sep 2021
11:46 am

SAA flies again: Can Takatso restore SA’s money pit to its former glory?

Citizen Reporter

The partnership brings experience, expertise and capital to transform SAA.

South African Airways terminal. Picture: Gallo Images/Thulani Mbele

South African Airways (SAA) will take to the skies again this week, following “a large and complex transaction” between the Takatso Consortium and government.

The Takatso Consortium will own 51% of the airline and the Department of Public Enterprises 49%.

Takatso and SAA partnership

What this means for the relaunch

Takatso CEO Gidon Novick confirmed that the arrangement did not include management, funding or any of the airline’s relaunch plans.

He said the relaunch was “separate to the engagement between Takatso and the Department of Public Enterprises to acquire a 51% stake in SAA”.

“We have progressed the due diligence process of SAA, which is now substantially complete, and no material issues have been identified,” Novick added.

Novick said it was a “large and complex transaction, and that Takatso anticipates downtime during the process”. However, “there is a strong commitment from both parties”.

A billion-dollar boost

Back in June, Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan confirmed Takatso’s appointment as the preferred strategic equity partner (SEP) for SAA.

At the time, Takatso Consortium chair Tshepo Mahloele said the team came with experience, expertise and capital to transform SAA into a “substantial operating business in its own right”.

Mahloele added that more than a billion dollars had been injected into the SAA portfolio, to boost critical infrastructure assets in Africa.

ALSO READ: Turbulent times already for new SAA

A bright future for SAA

Novick said it was possible for SAA to be the “efficient, customer-obsessed and innovative airline” it once was, and that it would once again serve as a catalyst for SA’s failing economy.

The aviation industry took a knock during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel because SA has the “critical ingredients for a successful airline”.

He said South Africa has “incredible skills and talent, […] as well as an abundance of low-priced aircraft available globally”.

NOW READ: Government employees, taxpayers still footing the bill for privatised SAA