SAA has a new strategic partner

SAA has a new strategic partner. File photo.
SAA has a new strategic partner. File photo.
Image: Business Day

SA Airways has a new strategic partner that will own 51% of the airline.

Public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday announced that the government has reached an agreement with a private company, Takatso Consortium, that will own 51% of the struggling airline, while government will own 49%.

Takatso Consortium is 51% black-owned. It is expected to initially pump in R3bn into the airline while retaining it name.

Gordhan said the government would not be putting any more money into SAA and that all funding would come from Takatso.

The new airline will be launched once all “due diligence” has been completed. This was expected to take a couple of weeks, he said.

Gordhan also announced that the airline will still be headquartered in the country and that management will also be mostly black.

The SAA business rescue process officially ended in April with the government announcing at the time that they would be going into negotiations to look into finding a strategic equity partner (SEP).​

“SAA will be owned by a partnership between government and a strategic equity partner. Having evaluated the current environment, government has agreed to the SEP owning 51% of the shareholding and government 49% of the shareholding,” Gordhan said.

“The strategic equity partner is known as Takatso, which is a consortium, and the word Takatso in Sotho means aspire. And this consortium is 51% black-owned. It brings together two very resourceful entities, Harith, which is a funder and interest structure investor and an airport owner and a global airways which has sufficient and interesting experience in the airline industry.”

This partnership, Gordhan said, demonstrates SA's ability to develop an entirely home-grown solution to relaunch SAA as a sustainable, competitive and transformed airline.