ANC stands firm that state-owned enterprises won't be privatised

A South African Airways Airbus A320. Picture: SAA
A South African Airways Airbus A320. Picture: SAA
Image: SAA

The business rescue of South African Airways (SAA), although welcomed, will not lead to privatising of the airline. This is the stance taken by the ANC’s national executive committee at its meeting over the weekend.

The party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule said that the NEC welcomed the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to place the airline under business rescue but were clear that assets should remain under the state.

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“We thought it was prudent for the president to take a decisive position and you have noticed that even the unions are happy with the position taken in terms of business rescue because we have discussed the importance of that business rescue and why there was a need for such an approach,” Magashule said. “So we are fine [with business rescue]. It is not privatisation. We are not going to privatise anything.”

Ramaphosa last week announced the decision to place the airline under business rescue, giving practitioner Les Matuson powers to run SAA. He said that the decision was taken to ensure that the airline does not go into liquidation.

Addressing the media alongside Magashule, the ANC’s communications personnel Dakota Legoete said that several funding methods for SAA were discussed at the NEC meeting. He said that they also looked at the possibility of inviting stokvels to invest in state-owned enterprises such as SAA by buying shares in the businesses.

“We discussed SOEs, we discussed possible models of equity partners, whether we look out for private companies, whether we look at other SOEs, whether we go for ordinary South Africans through investment schemes - be it stokvels - where they buy shares,” Dakota said.

“But we are in line with our resolutions that if there was to be an equity partner, government must remain the majority shareholder. We are not privatising state assets, we are only bringing equity partners so that we can bring capital, we can bring necessary skills and ensure that there’s stability.”

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