By Thys Khiba
Pretoria – The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) led by Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced that Harith General Partners and Global Airways, which make up Takatso Consortium, have been selected as the preferred Strategic Equity Partner (SEP) for the South African Airways (SAA), on Friday.
“The partnership brings together South African public and private sector capabilities to reposition SAA. We have looked long and hard at the proposals submitted, and our clear choice of a preferred partner is the Takatso Consortium. The objective of bringing in an equity partner to SAA is to augment it with the required technical, financial and operational expertise to ensure a sustainable, agile and viable South African airline,” said Gordhan.
Gordhan confirmed that the new SAA will not be dependent on the fiscus. He said that it will be agile enough to cope with the current uncertainty, and improvement, in global travel.
The TakatsoConsortium will own 51% of the SAA and the DPE will take 49%.
The DPE has pronounced the partnership as a demonstration of the government’s ability to develop an entirely ‘homegrown solution’ to successfully relaunch the airline as a sustainable, competitive and transformed airline.
“Government will retain a ‘golden share’ in SAA which will ensure that the flag is retained, that it remains domiciled in the country and issues such as transformation goals remain upper-most,” said Gordhan.
Takatso Consortium believes that with SAA, they believe that they can leverage with appropriate partnerships, the potential of the aviation sector in Africa, which is being fuelled by urbanisation, intra-African and inter-city trade.
Takatso Consortium said that they did not doubt that SAA could be built into an efficient airline that catalyses growth in the South African economy especially tourism.
“The consortium brings a unique combination of skills and infrastructure funding (including airports) and aviation operator experience. This will ensure the development of SAA into a viable and agile commercial airline. In addition, we bring unique access to African markets that we are familiar with, because we have deployed more than a billion dollars into a portfolio of critical infrastructure assets across the African continent that support regional economies, and our existing investments in rail, airports and bridges across the continent strongly support the regional integration model,” said Takatso Consortium, TshepoMahloele.
The Consortium is 51% black owned.
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