Why should SAA be saved at taxpayer expense? Why should a few SAA employees receive generous retrenchment benefits as part of the restructure – at taxpayer expense – while millions of private sector employees did not?
SAA already had a diminishing market share prior to being placed in business rescue late last year, competing directly with several privately-owned airlines. Why continue supporting it?
Why is Government not supporting the entire aviation industry instead of just one airline? This is also the view of Wits academic Michael Sachs, the former head of the budget office in Treasury. Rather than immediately paying over more than R10bn as part of the SAA business rescue arrangements, make these funds available to the industry to increase its growth & capacity to employ people.
I find it interesting to note that Gidon Novick, erstwhile executive of Comair and founder of the Kulula.com initiative, is planning to start a new airline this year. He thinks that it could require as little as R1bn to get going.
R1bn! A tenth of the amount that is needed to only stave off the liquidation of SAA, never mind getting it back up in the air to continue to compete with the private sector!
It really seems surreal – as if this can only happen in South Africa.