South Africa-Airline-Recovery

Give S/African Airways time to recover – Minister

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South African Airways (SAA) is making financial improvements, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has said in parliament in Cape Town.

The minister was answering questions in the House on Wednesday, about whether strategic equity partners should be brought in to help support struggling state-owned enterprises (SOEs) such as the cash-strapped SAA.

Responding to a question from Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh about SAA's road to recovery, Gordhan said the national carrier should be given "another year or two" to recover.

"There are aspects of improving, financially speaking," Gordhan said of the airline, adding that some routes were returning to profitability.

Gordhan said the future of the SAA and other SOEs would be determined by the next administration, following the national elections of 8 May.

But he stressed that government must consider what is in the best interest of the country, he said.

If disposing state assets would run into millions of costs or if bringing on a strategic equity partner would not add value to the SOE at all, then it would not be in the best interest of the country to sell the national carrier, the minister said.

"Privatisation is not on the agenda," he said.

NM/jn/APA

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