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Ruling party must take decisive approach on SOEs - Gauteng ANC

Image: SAA

The ruling party must take decisive steps to address the crisis at SAA and Eskom and there should be no pronunciation on what interventions to take outside the party.

This is the position outlined by the ANC in Gauteng on Sunday following its provincial executive lekgotla last week.

Deputy provincial chairperson Panyaza Lesufi said SOEs were discussed extensively in the meeting and it was made clear that the ruling party has to act immediately.

 “Our argument is very clear as the ANC, we are going to an NGC [national general council]. This NGC must once and for all deliberate and take a resolution on state-owned enterprises. We are going through a difficult time and this is a matter that the ANC must pronounce on,” Lesufi

“It is government that must lead in this. Turning a national carrier like SAA to become what is now called Cape Town airways, we really believe that we can’t confine such a national airline to just one route. We really need to resolve the differences that we have and the NGC is the appropriate platform to deal with this,” he said.

SAA business rescue practitioners (BRPs) shocked the country last week when they announced the cancellation of 11 routes, including international ones, arguing this was due to financial constraints.

The move even troubled the highest office in the land. President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was not pleased with the cancellation of the routes.

"Government is not in agreement with the BRPs about the decision to cancel certain flights. We as government are saying we need to sit down with the BRPs and discuss the matter," said Ramaphosa.

But ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe broke ranks with his party, saying the national carrier must be sold off if it cannot make money. Speaking at an ANC birthday rally in the Eastern Cape, Mantashe said SAA was an "elitist" airline that did not serve the interests of the working class and should be sold to private buyers if it is unable to generate a profit.

Lesufi said differing views on how to rescue the airline and address Eskom problems had to be expressed in the NGC.

“A piecemeal approach on all these issues is not going to assist us. What we need is a decisive approach led by the African National Congress…Whoever has a particular view, let us go to the festival of ideas of the ANC, the NGC,” Lesufi said.