DA calls for special public hearings on SAA bailout

Johannesburg – With government expected to reprioritize its budget in order to find money to restart a new national airline, there are growing calls for National Treasury not to use funds set aside to deal with Covid-19.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is expected to table his adjusted budget for the 2020 financial year in October.

South African Airways (SAA) needs more than R10 billion for the restructuring of the embattled airline. There are concerns that the biggest cuts in the budget would be pro-poor spending on public employment programmes.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said if this was the case, Parliament should reject such a proposal from Mboweni.

DA’s spokesperson on finance and MP, Geordin Hill-Lewis, said on Monday the party was calling for public hearings on the bailout of SAA.

“It is morally indefensible to bail out SAA again by cutting funding from pro-poor COVID relief spending programmes.

“Parliament should reject any such proposal from Minister Tito Mboweni. The DA will write to the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Joe Maswanganyi, calling for dedicated public hearings on the SAA bailout,” said Lewis in a statement.

“Every member of Parliament, particularly every ANC MP, should understand clearly that support for this bailout will mean actively choosing to cut funding from services to the poor, and from COVID relief programmes,” read the statement

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