The ANC government sacrificed education and security to save SAA – Sygnia CEO

Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka said the ANC sacrificed the future of South African children and the security of its citizens to try to save something completely unsalvageable.

This followed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s medium-term budget speech where he said R10.5 billion will be allocated to SAA to help it implement its business rescue plan.

This allocation is in addition to the R16.4 billion allocated over the 2020 medium-term expenditure framework in the February Budget for settling guaranteed debt and interest.

This did not sit well with many South Africans, who highlighted that even Mboweni had previously spoken out against another SAA bailout.

“The ANC just sacrificed the future of South African children and the security of its citizens to try yet again to save something completely unsalvageable,” said Wierzycka.

She said using tax money for education and police is far more sensible than trying to save a bankrupt airline.

DA shadow minister of finance Geordin Hill-Lewis echoed Wierzycka’s comments in a statement regarding Mboweni’s budget.

“The ANC government has chosen to cut essential services to the public, like education and policing, to fund another bailout of SAA,” said Hill-Lewis.

“This is an indefensible, immoral choice. It amounts to throwing South Africans under the plane to pay for SAA.”

He added that Mboweni should have held the line and refused this bailout, and that the decision shows the ANC’s disregard for poor South Africans.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) called for a public boycott against SAA in disapproval of the SAA bailout.

They said higher education, the national prosecuting authority (NPA), policing, and housing should be prioritised instead of SAA.

“The mid-term budget robs the poor to save the SAA vanity project,” Outa said.

What the money could have been used for

Hill-Lewis highlighted that the R10.5-billion SAA bailout could have been spent on much better things, including:

  • One month of additional TERS support for families who have lost income during lockdown.
  • 440 new community clinics.
  • 66,500 new RDP houses.
  • 130 new schools.
  • 80,000 new teaching degrees, or 27,000 new medical graduates.

“We will continue to mobilise against this bailout, and call on the public to take part in the budget process to make their voice heard in opposition to this,” said Hill-Lewis.

Geordin Hill-Lewis interview

Now read: Tito Mboweni announces R10.5 billion SAA allocation

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The ANC government sacrificed education and security to save SAA – Sygnia CEO