Takatso Aviation (Pty) Ltd (“Takatso”) is an investment company established for the sole purpose of acquiring 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 multi fund manager and investor in infrastructure assets. This investment is a step towards realizing Harith’s long-standing interest to establish and grow a transport platform anchored in aviation. It also complements Harith’s existing, related assets such as the Lanseria Airport in South Africa, the Beitbridge border post in Zimbabwe, Traxtion Rail Services in Mauritius, amongst others.
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 objective to grow our 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 interested only 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 15 years of undertaking massive infrastructure projects and complex transactions across the continent, we were confident we had what it would take to return SAA to its previous glory in being a safe, reliable and competitive airline in the domestic, regional and international market. And thus Takatso was born.
OUR VISION FOR SAA
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, who will hold preference and ordinary shares 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;
- While SAA has lagged behind in recent years, it has a history of proved capability of delivering top service, performance and safety.
- SAA’s home-base is located in the most developed African hub, with strategic access to the Southern African region.
- SAA has an extensive route network and airport slot access.
- It has extensive, owned infrastructure.
- SAA is the only local carrier with major airport lounge infrastructure.
- It presents the opportunity to participate in, and influence, regional development.
- Tshepo Mahloele
- Alwyn Wessels
- Lizeka Matshekga