May 24, 2020: The parliament for the South Africa department of public enterprises (DPE), acting director general Kgathatso Tlhakudi presented the department’s budget plan for state-owned South African Airways (SAA) and SA Express airlines. He has provisionally set aside R3.8 billion ($212 million) for troubled flag-carrier SAA and another R164 million ($9.2 million) for SA Express in the current fiscal year. These funds are not considered Covid-19 rescue funds but instead part of the carriers’ primary operating budget allocations.
SAA and SA Express budget proposals represent an approximate 30 percent and 50 percent reduction for the respective carriers’ government funding amounts from the previous fiscal year.
Tlhakudi pointed out that the budget allocated by the treasury is “under strain” owing to “unplanned spending” to cope with the coronavirus crisis, and that it “will look different in a couple of weeks”.
Department of public enterprises deputy director general Kgathatso Tlhakudi gave the figure during a 20 May presentation before the parliamentary portfolio committee on public enterprises.
SAA reported an R16 billion ($896 million) loss for the last three years to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA). The airline has not turned a profit since 2011 and has received R57 billion ($3.2 billion) in government funding since 1994.