Finance minister Tito Mboweni says the government will not bail out the national carrier SAA "forever", telling MPs that only a private equity partner can rescue the cash-strapped airline.
Mboweni spoke frankly about the financial health of the national carrier during his medium-term budget policy statement [mini-budget] in parliament on Wednesday, saying that for far too long the government had opted to "subsidise the middle class and wealthy" to fly around, instead of the ordinary workers who "got stuck in old trains and were late for work".
At a media briefing before addressing the National Assembly, Mboweni said the government was planning of sell off or close down some of the worst performing state-owned companies.
"Dondo [Mogajane, the DG of the National Treasury] and myself, we have an agreement that we're going to sell some assets - but we're not going to tell you which ones," said Mboweni.
"When you're in difficult times, if the glove doesn't fit, you don't wear it. When the family is in trouble, you rebalance your portfolio. All of us do that and the country must do that as well.