South Africa commits $650 million to ailing airline SAA, administrator says

The South African government has told administrators of South African Airways (SAA) that there is a “clear cabinet commitment” to provide the state airline with 10.5 billion rand ($650 million) of funds, one of the administrators said on Friday.

The administrator told an SAA creditor meeting that the government’s communication had the support of the National Treasury but the timelines and mechanisms for the funding were yet to be finalized.

The administrators took control of SAA in December after almost a decade of financial losses and published a rescue plan for the airline in June following repeated delays and wrangling over its future.

But the plan, which envisages scaling back SAA’s fleet and cutting jobs, needs at least 10 billion rand to work, and the cash has not materialized since July when creditors approved the restructuring plan.

The Department of Public Enterprises, the ministry responsible for SAA, said on Thursday that it was still trying to source the necessary funding and that it was assessing proposals from several potential strategic equity partners.

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