Skip to Content

One of SAA's Boeing 747s that got sold for a song, to please the looters...

South Africa: ‘Affirmative action just an excuse for theft’

Why is South African Airways paying up to three times more for aeroplanes and fuel? FreeWest spoke to someone within the airline.

Published: October 15, 2017, 5:38 pm

    SAA (South African Airways) is paying three times as much for the leasing of aeroplanes as other airlines because the extra money is disappearing into the pockets of managers’ friends and so-called “BEE beneficiaries”. The latter abbreviation refers to “Black Economic Empowerment” which denotes the country’s extreme forms of affirmative action and “majority procurement” that require companies to hand over chunks of equity or otherwise prohibit them from procuring goods and services from white-owned companies.

    The million litres of fuel bought by the airline every day, is not procured at market prices either because a supplier has to add his “commission” to the price.

    FreeWest spoke to sources deep within the struggling state-owned airline which is in need of almost constant bailouts by the state. While Ethiopian Airlines has dethroned SAA as “best airline in Africa”, it does not look as if the local airline is ever going to overcome its problems, which include the billions of rands in cash disappearing down its financial black hole.

    Jacob Zuma and Dudu Miyeni (right). Photo: SA Govt. Information Service.

    South African media have chronicled the soap opera of SAA and its arrogant, highly-paid all-black executive staff, including chairwoman Dudu Miyeni who is reputedly on exceptionally good terms with the South African president, Jacob Zuma. Apart from her duties as chairwoman of SAA, she is also “Executive Chairperson of the Jacob G Zuma Foundation”.

    According to one of FreeWest’s sources, someone who has worked at SAA for years, Black Economic Empowerment is the root of the problem. “BEE is actually just an excuse for theft,” said the source. “Unlike any normal airline elsewhere in the world, we are not allowed to purchase our aeroplanes or fuel from reputable suppliers; everything must go via BEE entities or intermediaries that are sucking us dry like leeches.”

    Prior to the ANC takeover of South Africa in 1994, SAA was administered as a national asset. Even directors of SAA enjoyed a middle-class lifestyle in those days, with their children in state schools and earning a manager’s salary with which a middle-class home and car could be afforded.

    “A director of SAA today lives in a sixteen-million rand home in Sandhurst (one of Johannesburg’s most expensive suburbs with huge mansions) and drives at least a Porsche,” said the source. “He earns four million a rand a year and lives like a king. Accordingly, the airline is in dire straits.

    “Normally it costs about $300 000 per month to lease a big passenger aircraft for international flights; that is what most airlines would pay. However, until recently SAA was paying $900 000 per month per aeroplane, because all the intermediaries and BEE looters had to be fed. These lease agreements have in the meantime been revised downwards, but are still more expensive than the norm.”

    At one time SAA had its own aeroplanes, among others a whole fleet of Boeing 747s. “Those planes were all fully paid!” said the source. “They only needed to be maintained. But then we were told: no, we can’t be profitable with old planes. We had to get new ones, lease new ones. Those Boeings were sold off for a pittance, again by intermediaries who made money…”

    That the Boeings were no longer suitable was a lie. “SAA can no longer make a profit with any aeroplane. But British Airways, Quantas, they still fly to South Africa every day with Boeing 747s! They somehow manage to get a profit out of their planes.”

    A cartoon and graph from the Mail & Guardian, a South African weekly, totalling the bailouts received by SAA to date.

     

    More and more routes are being closed, again because “they are not profitable”. Yet other airlines find the same routes profitable, it is only SAA with its heavy ballast of BEE looters who can no longer afford them.

    According to the source, “SAA will need another five billion rand soon, just to keep going. As long as these practices are tolerated and as long as BEE exists, the state is going to have to support SAA,” said the source.

    It is about more than bad management. The whole system of “empowerment” and legalised theft is making it impossible to manage an airline according to business principles.

    Ethiopian Airlines is making a profit of $300 million per year, probably with less profitable routes to those of SAA. This airline is also government-owned. “The difference is,” said the source, “that the Ethiopian government appointed a CEO that manages the airline in the interest of the shareholder, the state. What he says goes. There is no government interference in the airline. Unlike SAA, where the minister and the state are constantly interfering.”

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • Heh. Mods, not to nitpick, but there is a bolded typo in the following. You’re welcome! 🙂

      That the Boeings were no longer suitable was a lie. “SAA can nog longer make a profit with any aeroplane. But British Airways, Quantas, they still fly to South Africa every day with Boeing 747s! They somehow manage to get a profit out of their planes.”

    Africa

    South Africa’s ANC starts to expropriate land without compensation

    The ANC leadership of Ekurhuleni, a large make-shift "metro" cobbled together from various towns and cities east of Johannesburg, has voted to ahead with the country's first "expropriation without compensation"  - known by the acronym EWC.

    South African president blatantly lies about farm murders

    President Cyril Ramaphosa's lies during an interview on Bloomberg television has led to an angry response in South Africa. Ramaphosa's spokesperson quickly had to step in "to explain what the president said" but did little to explain away his lies.

    White existence is a crime, says South African black party spokesperson

    Black First, Land First spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp gave a presentation on the South African government's coming amendment of section 25 of the constitution to allow for white land expropriation without compensation.

    Turkish state broadcaster calls white farm murders in South Africa a ‘myth’

    Turkish state broadcaster TRT World released a video last week claiming that the ongoing white genocide in South Africa is a "myth".

    White farmer’s union welcomes Trump tweet as IMF lauds land grab

    The conservative South African agricultural union, TAU SA believes that its long-time international campaign to bring farm murders to the world's attention, has begun to produce results, and is therefore pleased about the announcement made by American president, Donald Trump to investigate the possible expropriation of land without compensation as well as the farm murders.

    The true facts about land and farm murders in South Africa

    PretoriaThe American president's tweet about the land grabs in South Africa, expressed a justified concern about events unfolding. Those who doubt the veracity of Donald Trump's tweet should familiarize themselves with the facts about farm murders and the threat to property rights in the country.

    Trump tweets on South African land grab and genocide of white farmers

    President Donald Trump's tweet about South Africa's land grab policy and farm murders, made global news today.

    The mainstream media is silent about the coming crisis in South Africa

    A researcher at the American Cato Institute has warned that South Africa will soon be going down the same disasterous path as its neighbour Zimbabwe did in 2000. The mainstream media is eerily silent about the coming crisis.

    South Africa: ‘You can’t conjure up farmers’

    The futility of trying to debate with the ANC at the recent public hearings on the South African government’s proposal to introduce legislation permitting land to be expropriated without compensation, was obvious. ANC supporters would only respond that they were "sick and tired of white people".

    South Africa’s ANC regime expropriates first white-owned farms amid ‘land panic’

    Will South Africa follow Zimbabwe into hyperinflation and economic collapse as white farmers' land gets confiscated? Both farmers and the country's banks are frightened by the ANC regime's radical plans for 'expropriation without compensation'.

    Go to archive