Finance minister Tito Mboweni has defended the R10.5bn funding allocated for SAA, saying it is not a bailout.
Mboweni, who was briefing parliament’s portfolio committee on finance after the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), said the funds for SAA will bankroll the airline’s business rescue process.
He also warned of the effect of a second Covid-19 wave on the tourism sector.
Here are five quotes from his briefing:
R10.5bn for SAA
“The R10.5bn allocated to SAA is not a bailout. A bailout would have made a huge injection into SAA. This is not what the budget has done. What’s in our budget now are allocations for the requirements of business rescue practitioners”
Plans for the public sector wage bill
“We need to approach this matter strategically. Most of our public civil servants are hardworking people and they, too, don’t want to abandon the country. However, they must not carry the sacrifice alone. All of us, including private enterprise, must make sacrifices in this situation.”
Avoid public sector wage strike at all costs
“We should try to avoid the public servants’ strike at all costs. But whatever we do, we must not break the fiscal framework. That we can’t do at all. Otherwise, we are on a slippery road and we are all going to regret it because there will be nothing for us.”
Tourism’s contribution to recovery process
“We were hopeful that what would make a significant contribution to the recovery process is tourism. With Germany and France seeing a resurgence of Covid-19, this will cause problems for our tourism industry.”
Second Covid-19 wave in SA
“God forbid there should not be a second wave in SA. If there is, tourism is dead and the economic recovery programme will be found wanting because most of the items there will be negatively affected.”