Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan is expected to soon give the green light for the sale of troubled state-owned low-cost airline Mango.

IoL reports that Mango, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAA, has been under business rescue since July 2021. 

At the time, the airline’s creditor liability stood at R2.8bn with forward sales and un-flown ticket liabilities of about R183m. If the sale of Mango goes ahead, it will be the second time Gordhan has authorised a state-owned airline to be sold.

A 51% stake in SAA was sold to the Takatso Consortium, which was identified as a strategic equity partner, for R51 with the promise that the entity would invest R3bn in the airline over two years.

The SAA/Takatso deal hit turbulence two weeks ago following the resignation of Gidon Novick from the consortium’s board over potential conflicts of interest with LIFT, a low-cost airline he established. 

The DA will ask the Competition Commission to investigate whether the Takatso Consortium entered into the SAA deal under false financial pretences and is simply unable to raise the requisite equity to fulfil its end of the agreement.

The sale of SAA has also pitted Gordhan against his DG Kgathatso Tlhakudi who has since been suspended.

Last week, Scopa questioned Gordhan and his charges about the transaction in which the Takatso Consortium took over 51% of the state airline's shares, and the turbulence surrounding the transaction.

Full IoL report