Daily Archives: July 2, 2017

Government transfers funds from National Revenue Fund to South African Airways

The recapitalisation of the South Africa Airways

Government has decided to transfer funds from the National Revenue Fund to South African Airways to allow the airline to pay back its debt to Standard Chartered Bank thereby avoiding a default. This payment was done in terms of section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act. This section of legislation states that the Minister can authorise the use of funds to defray expenditure of an exceptional nature which is currently not provided for and which cannot, without serious prejudice to the public interest, be postponed to a future Parliamentary appropriation of funds. The due process laid out in the legislation will be followed.

A default by the airline would have triggered a call on the guarantee, leading to an outflow from the NRF and possibly resulting in elevated perceptions of risk related to the rest of SAA’s guaranteed debt.

Improving the financial positions of the airline through recapitalisation has been on government’s agenda for a while as outlined in the February 2017 Budget. Several options are being explored and an update will be provided during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in October 2017. Given the nature of the problems at SAA, section 16 of the PFMA had to be used as the last resort.

Government will do everything in its power to ensure that the airline’s turnaround strategy is implemented. The airline remains a strategic asset and in its role as the flag carrier, it serves as an economic enabler with direct and indirect benefits across a wide range of economic activity.

Source: Government of South Africa

Sudanese Doctors Urge Measures Against Cholera Outbreak

Sudanese doctors and aid workers are urging the government to declare a state of emergency over a cholera outbreak and delay the start of the school year, which began Sunday.

The disease, which is passed through contaminated water, has surfaced in five states, including the capital, Khartoum. The U.S. Embassy said last month that fatalities had been confirmed, and Egypt has begun screening passengers from Sudan at Cairo’s international airport.

Some 22,000 cases of acute watery diarrhea have led to at least 700 fatalities since May 20, said Hossam al-Amin al-Badawi, of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, adding that it is most likely cholera, but the government refuses to test for it.

Doctors say cholera, a bacterial infection linked to contaminated food or water, has surfaced in the states of Khartoum, Al-Jazeera, Sennar, White Nile and North Kordofan, and are urging the government to seek international aid.

The fast-developing, highly contagious infection can spread in areas without clean drinking water or with poor sanitation. If left untreated, it can cause death from dehydration.

Sudan’s official news agency SUNA meanwhile announced the opening of the school year, saying that authorities had the outbreak of “acute watery diarrhea” under control.

Activists and the opposition say President Omar al-Bashir’s government refuses to acknowledge the cholera outbreak because it would reveal failures in the country’s crumbling health system, where corruption is rife.

Neighboring South Sudan is grappling with the “the longest, most widespread and most deadly cholera outbreak” since the it won independence in 2011, according to the U.N. Since the outbreak began a year ago, over 11,000 cases have been reported, including at least 190 deaths, according to the World Health Organization and South Sudan’s government.

Source: Voice of America