South African Airways has become a black hole that is simply consuming the resources of the country and it would be irresponsible to pour any more good money into the failing airline, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Chamber was commenting on the government plan to sell its shares in Telkom to finance yet another bail-out for SAA.
“SAA has had more than enough time to turn its fortunes around and the chances of doing so now must be close to zero,” said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.
“We must remember that SAA’s main competitor, Comair, is doing well and making a profit in the same market. This tells us that SAA is badly managed and unable to compete, despite the resources that have been poured into it. SAA needs drastic surgery not bail-outs.”
Ms Myburgh said the new danger was that SAA would start losing customers because people did not like losers and that would further reduce its chances of any kind of recovery.
“To sell a good asset like Telkom shares and use the money to prop up a bankrupt airline with a bleak future does not make any sense. The only thing that we can learn from this sorry story is that the government does not understand business and, for the sake of the country, it should get out of the commercial space. It simply does not have the management skill to compete in the market place,” Ms Myburgh said.