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Privatise SAA to prevent further wasting of taxpayer’s money

The latest turnaround strategy at the SAA, after ten previous ones had failed, puts a heavy burden on the taxpayers and the airline has to be privatised to prevent further wasting of taxes, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on finance, said.

Dr. Groenewald, during today’s budget vote debate of the department of finance, said that the SAA is technically bankrupt and financial statements aren’t even presented to parliament.

He said the reason for this is the request of the SAA for a further bailout of R5 billion from Treasury while Treasury is insisting on certain security undertakings before the money is made available. This boils down to a checkmate situation.

“Since 1999 to date, the SAA has received more than R30 billion in bailouts or state guarantees. Some experts calculate the figure to be closer to R45 billion. There is an attitude amongst the management of the airline that performance is not important and money is not a problem because Treasury will just give money again. This is simply unacceptable to waste taxpayer’s money this way.

“What is astounding is that the bankrupt airline has now given a sponsorship to the national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, for five years.

“It is not about which team has to be sponsored, but about the principle that an entity which is technically bankrupt is now directly using taxpayer’s money to give a sponsorship to a sports team. It simply cannot afford to do this.

“The detail surrounding the sponsorship is not known, but the FF Plus calls on the minister to intervene in cases where money is wasted like this.

“The FF Plus does not have a problem with sponsoring sports teams, but then they have to perform accordingly to make the sponsorship meaningful. The soccer team has however gradually slipped down the rankings and now stands in the 70th position in the world rankings.

“The time has come that the SAA is privatised so that an end can be made to the wasting of taxpayer’s money,” Dr. Groenewald said.

 

Contact no.: 083 627 4397 / 083 419 5403

 

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