Bailing out SA Express a waste of taxpayers’ money

Issued by Alf Lees MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance
28 Oct 2018 in News

Media reports exposing the dysfunctionality and financial mess at the state-owned SA Express, makes a complete mockery of the scheduled taxpayer bailout of R 1,7 billion rand to SA Express.

The DA will propose amendments to the Adjustments Appropriation Bill (Bill 35 of 2018) to prevent the payment of the R 1,7 billion to SA Express.

Reports that SA Express is paying R 40,0 million a month to lease aircraft that are essentially scrap because they have been stripped of useful parts, is mind-boggling and brings into question the wisdom behind National Treasury’s decision to saddle the South African taxpayer with more funding for the airline.

While SA Express cannot find money to keep its aircraft flying and generating revenue, there is no indication that the company’s highly paid board members and executives have had to forego any of their lucrative pay packets and bonuses

Tito Mboweni, the Minister of Finance, announced that the revenue collection for the next three years will be R 85,0 billion less than the February budget and yet he saw it fit to add R 1,7 billion for SA Express over and above the expenditure declared in the February budget.

It is unconscionable that SA Express is kept “alive” with taxpayer bailouts simply to provide “employment” and salaries to highly paid executives and staff. This bailout alone could have been used to pay an extra R 12,00 per month for a full year to Child Grant recipients.

The DA believes that the only moral and logical option is to immediately put SA Express into business rescue, and if this fails, it must be liquidated.