It is unacceptable that the bankrupt SAA which have been kept functioning with billions of rand of taxpayer’s money is now sponsoring the national soccer team with millions of rand, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on public enterprises says.
Dr. Groenewald says the airline must explain exactly what the sponsorship entails and where the money for the sponsorship will come from.
According to a report in News 24, an economist of the Free Market Foundation (FMF), Loan Sharpe, said last year that the estimated financial assistance of government given to the SAA over the last couple of years was anything between R14 billion and R45 billion. This assistance was provided in the form of loans which is reflected in the states’ balance sheets as well as through guarantees.
According to Dr. Groenewald, the damage caused to the country’s economy by SAA amounts to much more than this amount, as the airline is supposed to be a profitable enterprise which has to plough back money into the economy.
“The FF Plus will in parliamentary questions be asking for details about this sponsorship of Bafana Bafana. The silence about the detail is worrying and must be made known. We also want to know whether the airline acts as sponsor for any other institutions or teams.
“It is clear that the SAA only survives due to the billions of rand of the public’s taxes and this means per definition that the public now has to sponsor the soccer team through their taxes.
“The underachieving team is currently lying 70th on Fifa’s ranking list and will therefore struggle to gain large sponsors from the business community. It is unacceptable that the state and the public will have to sponsor a team that, just like the SAA, is an underachiever,” Dr. Groenewald says.
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