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SA Airways to cut routes in rescue plan : The Standard

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South African Airways (SAA), which entered a form of bankruptcy protection in December, will scale back some of its domestic and international routes from the end of February, specialists appointed to try to rescue the airline said on Thursday.


State-owned SAA will also seek to deploy more fuel-efficient aircraft, renegotiate contracts with suppliers, reduce the number of its employees and consider asset sales as part of rescue efforts, the specialists said in a statement.

SAA is among several South African state entities including power company Eskom that are mired in financial crisis after nearly a decade of mismanagement.

The airline hasn’t made a profit since 2011 and has received more than 20 billion rand ($1.35 billion) in bailouts over the last three years.

SEE ALSO :Ailing airlines stare at Sh20b in losses

SAA business rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana said that from February 29 the airline would end international routes to Abidjan via Accra, Entebbe, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Luanda, Munich, Ndola and Sao Paulo.

Domestic flights to Cape Town will continue on a reduced basis, and SAA will cease operations to Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, also from February 29.

International services between Johannesburg and Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Perth and Washington via Accra will be retained. “The initiatives we are taking now will strengthen SAA’s business,” Matuson and Dongwana said.

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“The decisions and actions announced today are aimed at improving SAA’s balance sheet, creating a platform for a strong and sustainable airline and ensuring the company is more attractive for potential strategic equity partners.”

The rescue experts are due to publish a restructuring plan in late February that will be presented to creditors for approval.

SEE ALSO :South African Airways cancels flights in fight for survival

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Their statement said customers booked on any cancelled international routes would receive a full refund. Passengers on cancelled domestic flights will be accommodated on low-cost SAA subsidiary, Mango Airlines.



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Helios Invests KSh10 Billion in Acorn Holdings

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Helios Investment Partners has announced a KSh10 billion equity investment in Acorn Holdings group, in addition to the initial KSh3 billion loans it had already offered Acorn.

With this new investment, Acorn says it will combine proceeds from their green bond which raised a total of KSh4.3 billion in October last year, with another KSh2.6 billion from Helios, to build environmental friendly hostels for university students in Nairobi.

Therefore, as Business Daily reports, bondholders will fund 65% of the project whereas Helios will fund 35%.

Acorn Holdings has already built hostels in Ruaraka, Parklands and along Jogoo Road.

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Helios Investment Partners is a private equity investing firm operating in Africa and based in London, United Kingdom, with additional offices in Nairobi and Lagos.

See Also:

Kenya’s Acorn Green Bond Starts Trading at LSE

Kenya’s First Green Bond Raises KSh4.3 Billion

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MPs clear Betty Maina and Mutahi Kagwe for Cabinet posts

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Economy

MPs clear Betty Maina and Mutahi Kagwe for Cabinet posts

MPs supported the appointment of Mutahi Kagwe
MPs supported the appointment of Mutahi Kagwe and Betty Maina for Cabinet posts. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Assembly has cleared Betty Maina for appointment as the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialisation and Enterprise Development. The move now paves the way for her swearing-in as a CS.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to preside over the swearing -in of Ms Maina, the outgoing principal secretary for Trade and Industrialisation, alongside former Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe who is set to take over as Health Cabinet Secretary. Mr Kagwe will replace Cecily Kariuki, who was moved to the Water Ministry.

Ms Maina takes over from Adan Mohamed who was moved to the Ministry of East African Affairs.

The House on Wednesday evening approved the report of the Committee on Appointments that vetted the two nominees. It also commenced debate on the nomination of six principal secretaries who will take over various ministries once approved by lawmakers. The report on the vetting of Mr Kagwe and Ms Maina shows that the outgoing PS’s net worth stood at Sh117.5 million. Mr Kagwe had listed his total net worth as Sh667.8 million.

Ms Maina told the committee chaired by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi that she earned a salary of Sh9.7 million from the State Department for Industrialisation in 2019.

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She had earned another Sh10.7 million in 2018 from the ministry. In 2016, when she worked at the State Department of the East African Community, she earned Sh12.3 million.

At the Kenya Association of Manufacturers where she worked before joining the government, Ms Maina received Sh15.2 million in salary and gratuity in 2015.

Ms Maina disclosed that she earned a further Sh3 million from consultancy in 2015 and Sh160,000 in 2014 when she served on the boards of the Anti-Counterfeit Agency and Laikipia University. She said the rest of her income comes from farming.

The Public Officer Ethics Act requires all State officers to submit their wealth declaration forms once every two years.

Section 26 of the Act requires the officers to submit their declarations together with those of their spouses and dependent children under the age of 18 years.

The full financial disclosure is meant to allow the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to detect and prevent corruption when top public servants are serving in office.

MPs supported the appointment of Mr Kagwe and Ms Maina, saying they were qualified to handle their respective dockets.

“Both Mr Kagwe and Ms Maina demonstrated immense knowledge and they are qualified to hold the Health and Industrialisation dockets.

“We want them to quickly settle and address the issues they said will be priority including reforms at the scandal hit National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Aden Duale, the Leader of Majority said.

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Nigeria Offers $268 Million to its Entrepreneurs

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The government of Nigeria has committed to give a $268 million monetary support to local agricultural entrepreneurs and innovators, even as the country seeks to diversify its economy, and stop wholly depending on oil.

According to the country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, the support will be birthed in two phases and sectors. The Central Bank of Nigeria will disburse the first $248 million as loans to small-sale businesses in the agricultural sector. Thereafter, they will use the remaining $20 million to fund young innovators.

Apart from being Africa’s biggest crude oil producer, Nigeria’s economy is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is ranked as the 27th-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 22nd-largest in terms of purchasing power parity. 

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See Also:

Nigeria’s Aella Raises KSh1 Billion to Lend to Underbanked

Nigeria Removes VAT on Food

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