24 August 2017

South Africa: Parliament - Malusi Gigaba's R10-Billion Plan to Bail Out SAA

analysis

Government plans to sell its shares in profitable Telkom to raise R10-billion to bail out debt-ridden SAA emerged in Parliament on Wednesday, just hours after public spending watchdog committee Scopa was told by the national airline that it was broke. DA MP Alf Lees told the House he had "in my possession a document, marked secret, saying Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is planning to give SAA a R10-billion bailout, primarily by selling government's shares in Telkom." It's the latest twist in the SAA saga of financial and governance turmoil. By MARIANNE MERTEN.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who earlier in his Q&A in the House deftly sidestepped questions on State Capture and other prickly matters, clearly was flummoxed by the quietly spoken DA MP's question as to whether he approved of a bailout deal for SAA.

"If he has a document marked secret and you are not a member of the executive, you could be charged and go to prison," was Ramaphosa's initial response, possibly unaware of parliamentary privilege, but it was quickly back to deflection mode. "The issue that the Honourable Member is talking about is a matter we continue to discuss, issues of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and assets that...

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