The state may approach “institutions to invest pension fund money” in South African Airways (SAA).
This is according to an affidavit by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, in an urgent court case by the DA about where money for the struggling airline will be obtained.
This is one of five proposals made by Mboweni in the statement on where the state will receive R10.1 billion to save the airline.
The state has already undertaken in writing to obtain the money as part of one of the terms of the rescue plan approved by SAA’s creditors on 14 July.
The other four proposals are:
1. The state may retain a portion of the issued share capital in the newly established airline.
2. Private partners may be approached to acquire an interest in the airline.
3. Strategic partners may be approached to acquire an interest in the airline.
4. Local and international investment institutions may be approached.
Mboweni reiterated that no decision has yet been made on exactly where the money will come from.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan also told presenter Karima Brown on eNCA program The Fix on Sunday morning that the government was “still working on it” to determine where the money would come from.
Mboweni makes it clear in his statement that he does not have money under art. 16 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) to the SAA. He says “no such decision has been made”.
Geordin Hill-Lewis, DA MP who launched the case, said in a statement on Tuesday morning that the party had achieved its immediate goal, precisely by preventing the minister from taking the step in secret. The party therefore abandoned its urgent application to the High Court in Pretoria for the time being.
Hill-Lewis says although they have had the urgent application removed from the roll, they are still keeping the original application on the roll. He says this is to prevent the minister from wanting to use the PFMA for a similar purpose in the future.
The DA says what worries him about some of the proposals Mboweni is making is that there is a possibility that the Public Investment Corporation could be forced to invest in the airline.
The DA says it will oppose any lifeline to the SAA should state money be involved.