Takatso Aviation (Pty) Ltd ("Takatso") is an investment company established for the sole purpose of acquiring a controlling stake in South African Airways SOC Limited ("SAA"), in a Strategic Equity Partnership with the government of the Republic of South Africa. Takatso is 80% owned by Harith General Partners, the leading, pan-African multi fund manager and investor in infrastructure assets. This investment is driven by Harith’s deep-rooted commitment to the African continent. It’s also spurred-on by the company’s belief in the potential of capital, expertly marshalled and deployed, to enable continental economic growth and development. The SAA investment is also born out of Harith’s unwavering patriotism and commitment to helping unlock South Africa’s growth potential, by investing in the pipeline industries of energy, transportation and digital infrastructure, that are the economy’s arteries. It also fits-in with Harith’s already existing and growing transport platform, which boasts investments in assets such as the Lanseria International Airport, Beitbridge border post (ZimBorders) in Zimbabwe, the Henri Konan Bédié bridge in Côte d'Ivoire, and Traxtion Rail Services in Mauritius, amongst others.
Our name, "Takatso" is a Sesotho word that captures within its meaning, the concept of "ambition". It encapsulates the ambition that drives our commitment to building SAA up as a truly world-class, globally-competitive and sustainable African airline that contributes to the country's economic growth, regional integration and facilitates the movement of people and doing business across the continent.
The Takatso Aviation logo is inspired by a jet engine's turbine blades. It represents propulsion and forward-movement. The engine turbine blades are green in colour, with a white circular core. Taken together, the Takatso logo represents the propulsion we intend to infuse into SAA, towards its future growth and sustainability.
The decision to be a strategic equity partner and to bid for the controlling interest in SAA was a no-brainer for us. It fit perfectly with our main shareholder, Harith’s objective to grow its investments in the aviation sector. Harith had previously made a bid for Comair, followed by a move on Mango Airlines (SAA 100%-owned subsidiary). It was during these engagements about potentially acquiring Mango that it emerged that the seller (government) was only interested in concluding a deal encompassing the entire SAA group, and not in dealing with its components in a piecemeal approach. With an illustrious history of more than 16 years of undertaking massive infrastructure projects and complex transactions across the continent, Harith believed it had what it would take to return SAA to its previous glory of being a safe, reliable and competitive airline in the domestic, regional and international market. And thus Takatso was born.
The SAA we see post the finalization of the Strategic Equity Partnership processes is agile in a competitive market, resilient, commercially viable and sustainable. It contributes to South Africa’s economic growth, especially through tourism and other related value-chain sectors. The SAA of the future will not take from the tax-payer’s pocket through billions of Rand in bailouts, but will instead add to the kitty in dividends for the State, which will continue to enjoy a significant shareholding in SAA. It is a centre of aviation excellence, talent and skills growth, and transformation of the industry in line with our country’s equality imperatives. Over and above these considerations, SAA makes sense because:
Official statements delivered to members of the news media