SAA move on city cuts slated

Scores of East London business people could abandon the city and move to Johannesburg as a result of SAA’s decision to cut flights to the coastal city.

Les Holbrook, executive director Border-Kei Chamber of Business, said the decision could drive up to 100 business owners living in East London to relocate to Johannesburg.

CONCERN: There is dismay at SAA’s decision to cut flights to East London. Picture: ALAN EASON

The cost-cutting move came after SAA received another government bailout yesterday totalling R3-billion.

SAA will use the funds to repay its Citibank debt of R1.8-billion and as much-needed working capital.

In a statement yesterday the Treasury said the money would be transferred from the National Revenue Fund to help SAA with its “immediate working capital requirements and to avoid defaulting on their Citibank loan”.

The transfer was approved in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act.

Holbrook said: “We originally thought all the flights to and from East London were going to be cut but they are now cutting just one. That one is a third of their flights here, so while it is not the expected train smash it is still disastrous.

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