Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Due diligence process under way, no turnaround time provided in SAA sale to Takatso Consortium

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Jun 22, 2021

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Cape Town - The Department of Public Enterprises says once the due diligence process is finalised, more details will be communicated to the public regarding the 51% SAA sale to Takatso Consortium.

Two weeks ago, Department of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that Takatso Consortium will acquire a 51% stake in SAA while government will keep 49% shareholding in the new airline.

Gordhan said Takatso would inject more than R3 billion into the deal.

This comes after SAA has been in rescue since December 2019 and business rescue practitioners ended the process two months ago.

Independent Media attempted to glean more information about the finalisation process, but department spokesperson Richard Mantu said: “We are still in the due diligence process. Once that process is finalised we will communicate to the public.”

He was unable to provide a turnaround time.

Further details will be outlined on key issues such as the route network roll-out, fleet selection, leadership team, transformation, brand relaunch, technology, SAA’s subsidiaries, global partnerships and Voyager.

United Democratic Movement leader, Bantu Holomisa, announced that the party intends to challenge the sale.

In a statement, Holomisa said the party met with its legal team to discuss court action.

“As we all know by now, Takatso Consortium is comprised of Global Aviation and Harith General Partners; the latter was fingered by the commission of inquiry into allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation (the Mpati Commission)

“The entire SAA deal has been nebulous, and it is unclear how government prioritised Harith as a partner after the negative things the Mpati Commission had to say about it,” said Holomisa.

In his announcement, Gordhan described the selection of the consortium as a “groundbreaking” decision for government.

He said: "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.

“SAA will contribute to the venture, the brand, the flag, landing slots, route licences, lounges and a successful loyalty program (Voyager).

"With this partnership, we believe we are closer to achieving the important objective of having a sustainable national airline. The new SAA will not be dependent on the fiscus. It will be agile enough to cope with the current uncertainty, and improvement, in global travel,” said Gordhan.

Harith co-founder and consortium chairperson Tshepo Mahloele said the consortium has the experience, expertise, and capital to transform SAA into a substantial operating business in its own right.

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Political Bureau

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