South Africa

The planned business rescue of South African Airways is in limbo because government attempts to raise 5.3 billion rand ($307 million) of immediate funding from commercial banks failed to elicit a response, a person familiar with the situation said, Bloomberg News reported. The administrators of the state-owned airline can’t hand over the business to management because it is insolvent, the person said.

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Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. agreed to release some funds to a municipality in South Africa’s Free State province to help it cover running costs, after seizing its bank accounts earlier this week, Bloomberg News reported. The Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality owes 5.3 billion rand ($318 million) in unpaid electricity bills and must reach an agreement to service the debt and its current account by Aug. 7, Eskom said in a statement Saturday.

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All conditions for a rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA) have been met, apart from a guarantee letter lenders need from the government, the state-owned airline’s administrators said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The administrators will ask creditors at a meeting on Friday for the letter, stating that state guarantees will remain in force until the lenders’ claims are paid out in full, to be agreed by July 27, later than a previous deadline.

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The South African government has not committed to fund a restructuring plan for struggling South African Airways (SAA), Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in court papers seen by Reuters on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Administrators took over SAA in December after almost a decade of financial losses, and last week creditors approved the restructuring plan, which requires at least 10 billion rand ($600 million) of new funds, on the understanding the government would find the necessary cash.

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South Africa’s government has committed to secure funds for the overhaul of struggling state-owned South African Airways (SAA), the public enterprises and finance ministries said in a letter to the airline’s administrators seen by Reuters, Reuters reported. The administrators, who took over SAA in December after almost a decade of financial losses, said they needed a letter of support from the government with a funding commitment for their restructuring plan to work.

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South Africa’s latest ban on alcohol sales is likely to force 35,000 bar owners in the poorest communities into bankruptcy, according to industry bodies representing the country’s biggest drink makers, Bloomberg News reported. The decision to abruptly prohibit the retail of booze for a second time since March is aimed at reducing alcohol-related hospital admissions while surging coronavirus cases put a strain on emergency wards.

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South African banks are looking at options ranging from debt consolidation to new ways of leveraging equity to avoid defaults when coronavirus-related debt relief measures end, industry officials said, Reuters reported. The banks gave customers in good standing relief on loans during the pandemic, including payment holidays of up to three months. But some consumers are still in trouble. Some banks have offered extensions, while others like Capitec offered to refund interest accumulated during payment holidays.

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The South African government is “on course” to provide a funding commitment for the restructuring of loss-making South African Airways (SAA), a senior official said on Friday, Reuters reported. The comments by the acting director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) will ease concerns at the airline after the finance ministry told lawmakers last week it would not provide any new money.

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A South African court today dismissed an appeal by administrators in charge of South African Airways (SAA) against a ruling which prevented them from laying off staff, Reuters reported. The failure of the appeal means the administrators may have to start consultations about layoffs from scratch if employees do not accept severance packages they have been offered. South African labour law stipulates a minimum two-month consultation period for layoffs.

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