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South Africa Considering Sale of State Assets to Fund Airline

  • Government needs to offset bailout of South African Airways
  • Move comes two years after sale of Vodacom stake to aid Eskom
Aircraft operated by South African Airways at O.R. Tambo International airport in Johannesburg.
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
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South Africa is evaluating assets it could sell to pay for this month’s 2.2 billion rand ($169.5 million) bailout of unprofitable carrier South African Airways, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in letter to parliament.

The government’s decision to settle a debt owed by the airline to Standard Chartered Plc mustn’t affect the balance of this year’s budget, Gigaba said in the note to Baleka Mbete, speaker of the National Assembly. Further details will be provided in October, he said. The plan was first reported by Business Day newspaper, which said a 39 percent stake in phone company Telkom SA SOC Ltd. was among the assets being considered for a disposal.