State-owned airline SAA has racked up losses of R28bn over 13 years and, in 2019, government drew a line in the sand. No more. Now the carrier is flogging assets to stay afloat.
Under pressure to reduce costs and shore up the balance sheet, business rescue practitioner Les Matuson has begun the process of selling SAA assets.
SAA is selling nine of its commercial airliners, 15 spare engines and four auxiliary power units, commonly used on large aircraft.
The sale was advertised on the government tender board on 10 January 2020 and is, without doubt, urgent. Interested bidders have until 30 January to respond.
SAA was placed into voluntary business rescue in December 2019 after its working capital dried up and National Treasury refused another bailout. As part of this process government and SAA's commercial lenders each agreed to provide the airline with R2-billion in working capital to give the business rescue process a chance of success.
The alternative was liquidation.
However, National Treasury is scrambling to come up with its share of the funding, as reported in Business Day.
"As of yesterday when I was speaking to the director-general of National Treasury we were still trying to find additional...