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Call for SAA business rescue amid fund woes

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Cape Town - The recent High Court judgment ordering South African Airways (SAA) to pay Nationwide Airlines more than R104.6m in damages for uncompetitive practices means the national carrier now has no wriggling room left, Alf Lees, the DA's deputy shadow minister of finance, said on Thursday.

He pointed out that the remaining R99m SAA can borrow against its R15bn government guarantee is not enough to meet the Nationwide judgment that is likely to amount to some R140m once interest charges are added.

"R140m added to a leaked first quarter loss of allegedly R1.3bn means that SAA will in all likelihood start defaulting on creditor payments," cautioned Lees. In his view, it is a further sign that SAA should be placed under business rescue.

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