DA calls for liquidation of SAA so that 'billions in bailouts' can be used to fight Covid-19

The DA has called for the liquidation of SAA so that billions in bailouts can be used to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DA has called for the liquidation of SAA so that billions in bailouts can be used to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: THE TIMES/MOELETSI MABE

The DA has written to SAA business rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana to urge them to immediately apply to court to liquidate the troubled airline.

The party said the business rescue practitioners must do so to prevent further bailouts of SAA that were desperately needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in SA.

The DA said the law required that if a company’s business rescue proceedings had not ended within three months after the start of those proceedings, the business rescue practitioner must prepare a monthly report on the progress of the business rescue proceedings.

“The three months for the SAA proceedings ended on March 5 2020 and the first report should already have been submitted.

“We have therefore asked for copies of their reports submitted in terms of section 132 (3) of the Companies Act,” DA member of the standing committee on public accounts Alf Lees said.

Lees said according to media reports, the business rescue practitioners had asked creditors for yet another extension to submit their proposed SAA business rescue plan.

Lees said the business rescue practitioners were apparently citing the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason for their request.

“However, the SAA business rescue practitioners have already had four months, which is considerably more than the period stipulated in the Companies Act and should have presented their business rescue plan to creditors on February 28 2020 before the extension to March 31 2020.”

Lees said the complete lack of any urgency on the part of Matuson and Dongwana to get the business rescue plan approved was a clear indication that the entire business rescue process was a farce and had been so from the very beginning.

“Given the collapse of ticket sales income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, on top of the dire financial position of the airline, it would be immoral for the SAA creditors to grant the SAA business rescue practitioners yet another extension to submit their proposed SAA business rescue plan.”

He said such an extension will simply delay the inevitable collapse of SAA and cause billions of rand desperately needed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic to go down the drain.


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