Consortium, govt partner to relaunch South African Airways

Following the announcement by South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, the Takatso Consortium has expressed its delight and commitment in being selected as the preferred strategic equity partner for South African Airways.

The consortium comprises Harith General Partners, a pan-African investor in African infrastructure, and Global Aviation.

According to a statement on Friday, the partnership between the consortium and the South African government aims to build an iconic national brand and a sustainable, world-class pan African airline.

Harith Co-founder and Consortium Chair, Tshepo Mahloele, said the consortium has the experience, expertise, and capital to transform SAA into a substantial operating business in its own right.

He said, “The partnership represents a robust, exciting South African-bred solution. Harith, as owners of Lanseria International Airport, has significant experience in the transport infrastructure and aviation sectors. We have deployed more than a billion dollars into a portfolio of critical infrastructure assets across the African continent that support regional economies.”

“Global’s operating model is unique, highly efficient and fit for purpose for a newly launched airline. The Consortium has empowerment at its heart and a unique blend of skills and experience.”

Takatso Chief Executive Officer, Gidon Novick, said he was confident that SAA could be built into an efficient, customer obsessed and innovative airline that serves as a catalyst for growth in the South African economy, particularly tourism.

He said, “COVID has created a unique set of circumstances for the industry. There are incredible skills and talent available right here in South Africa as well as an abundance of low-priced aircraft available globally – both critical ingredients for a successful airline.

“Transformation will be core to SAA, including accelerated training and promotion of qualified black pilots and a broadbased employee incentive scheme.”

According to the statement, the Takatso Consortium will own 51 percent of the airline and the Department of Public Enterprises 49 percent.

“The intention is to list the airline in the future as one way of addressing future funding requirements and to enable all South Africans to take part in its success,” it added.

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