South Africa: SA Express to Receive Another Govt Bailout As It Mulls Private Equity Partnerships

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In court papers, SA Express general manager for legal, Fikile Thabethe said the airline has received a letter from its shareholder (the government), indicating 'an allocation of R164-million has been made for the 2020/2021 financial year', which would 'further address' its 'financial challenges'. It is unclear whether the funds will be allocated in the form of a government guarantee, or a capital injection.

SA Express, the second state-owned airline whose flight routes typically serve SA's smaller cities as a feeder to South African Airways (SAA), will receive another multimillion-rand bailout from the government and plans to introduce private equity partners in order to alleviate its financial crisis.

The cash-strapped airline, which is overseen by the Public Enterprises department, is set to receive R164-million from the government for its 2020/2021 financial year, which is on top of the R300-million lifeline it received in September 2019 and the R1.2-billion it was allocated in the February 2019 budget.

The newly appointed SA Express management - led by interim CEO Siza Mzimela - recently said the successive bailouts, which are crucial for the airline to keep flying and borrow money from commercial banks, have been used to pay the airline's debt, leaving it without...

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