South Africa: Govt Gives Up Its Majority Ownership of SAA

This marks a step-change in the government’s approach to the ownership of troubled state-owned entities. The future ownership model of SAA will be similar to Telkom’s.

The Department of Public Enterprises has identified two investors that are set to acquire a majority shareholding in SAA, a move that will see the government no longer wholly owning the troubled airline.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, the current shareholder representative of SAA, announced on Friday, 11 June 2021 that investors will own a 51% majority shareholding in the airline. The government will hold a minority shareholding of 49%.

The two investors that will own a majority of SAA are part of a consortium, which includes Global Airways, a local jet-leasing company, and Harith General Partners, which funds infrastructure development across Africa. Harith also owns Lanseria International Airport in Gauteng.

The consortium, which includes well-known figures in South Africa’s aviation industry, will be chaired by Harith CEO Tshepo Mahloele and Gidon Novick, the former Comair CEO who recently launched low-cost airline Lift.

The consortium will initially inject more than R3-billion into SAA – funds that will be allocated to the airline’s working capital and help the restart of its flight operations. SAA, which…

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