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South African Airways Says It's Secured R2BN From Banks To Stay Afloat

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) said that a number of banks had agreed to loan it R2 billion to stay afloat.

The national carrier now had to seek guarantees from government, as a shareholder, in order to receive the funds.

But the cash-strapped airline warned that it may need more money next year to cover the costs of the ongoing strike.

It is estimated that SAA has been losing R50 million a day during the strike, which began last Friday.

Embattled SAA said that it has managed to secure the help of various banks to keep it in business.

The airline was currently R9 billion in debt and said that the current strike was making things worse.

Chief financial officer Deon Fredericks: "The lenders have indicated that they're comfortable to provide us with loans. This takes the R2 billion for the working capital and we had further discussions for additional funding. As a result of that, we could not make a commitment we could not honour because we haven't finalised it."

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said that government was committed to saving SAA but must not expect any more bailouts.

While some operations have resumed, the strike looked set to continue.

Source: ewn