South African Airlines (SAA) has been granted another multi-billion lifeline by the government this week, after Tito Mboweni confirmed that the flailing state organ would get R10.5 billion to plug its most recent financial black hole.

Airline pleads for ‘one more chance’

This latest round of funds is separate from a bailout payment that was made earlier this year. In total, SAA has received over R26 billion in the past 12 months, yet the money seems to be doing little to stabilise an already-battered airline that’s also been thrown off course by coronavirus. However, the South African Cabin Crew Association has asked for support:

“We hope citizens give SAA ‘one more chance’. We have to get it right this time. We are calling for that, to allow the airline to have a chance to survive, and not be a burden on the taxpayer.”

South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA)

SAA could be hit by a boycott

But it seems SACCA, and all staff who work for SAA will have a hard time convincing the public to trust them. The Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is leading calls for a boycott of the airline. Wayne Duvenage is the group’s CEO. He has rallied against the publicly-funded bailout, stating that the only sensible option ‘would have been liquidation’:

“OUTA is extremely concerned about the allocation of R10.5bn to implement what we believe is an unworkable business rescue plan at SAA and believes it is extremely irresponsible. We understand that debts need to be settled, but we cannot watch more precious tax revenue being wasted to revive a dying entity.”

“South Africans do have a voice. We now call on citizens to boycott the state-controlled airline. SAA should be liquidated in a manner that has the least impact on the country. The staff should get reasonable retrenchment packages, but this airline should no longer be supported. South Africa has much bigger priorities than a state-owned airline.”

OUTA statement

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Presh JM Reporter

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