Friday, 30 April 2021 18:16

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The embattled SAA on Friday exited a local form of bankruptcy protection called business rescue after roughly 17 months.

SAA was placed under business rescue in December 2019 to allow for restructuring and in a bit to make the national carrier financially viable.

Various unions, including the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), wanted business rescuers Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana out much sooner after they expressed concerns that the job hadn't been done.

On Friday, the Department of Public Enterprises welcomed the exit of the business rescue practioners.

"The BRPs are handing over to the SAA Interim Board a solvent business," said the department's spokesperson Richard Mantu.

"However, this does not mean that the work is finished."

Mantu added that the board and management will be implementing an interim business plan to sustain the operations while a strategic equity partnership is being finalised.

"Government is in the final stages of negotiations with the preferred SEP, and a purchase and sale agreement should be concluded in the next few weeks. This will enable capital, and much needed technical and commercial expertise to be brought in to ensure a competitive flag carrier emerges."

Neither the administrators nor the department said when SAA might resume flights.