South African Express employees have engaged an equity funding platform, Uprise.Africa, to assist in raising the capital needed to save SA Express.
The group strongly believes that SA Express (SAX) is a national asset that should be salvaged and definitely not liquidated. They further believe that the company is a viable business and if rescued with the correct strategy, could be a very profitable one.
“Liquidating SAX translates into slicing through the very artery that feeds the minor towns and cities in SA, and closing the gateway to our more rural areas,” said SAX spokesperson Michael Hlatshwayo in a statement.
“One of the major factors in improving our economy, would be to stimulate internal travel by South Africans taking ‘sho’t lefts’ through the country. Without a skilled carrier such as SAX, this becomes difficult for many everyday South Africans.”
In addition to the loss of access to cities and towns, liquidating SAX will have a massive detrimental effect on the staff. SAX directly employs skilled and moderately skilled South Africans. 60% of these citizens are in the minor cities, providing jobs, livelihoods and a vital economic lifeline to thousands of people in the cities. 30% of the staff complement come from the rural areas where skills are severely underdeveloped, but with the assistance from companies such as SAX, skills could be recognized and developed.
“The airlines internal financial troubles stem from political interference in its operations, nepotism, poor controls and poor management, exacerbated by external challenges – we can change this!,” said Hlatshwayo.
“SAX’s fundamental business models are sound with small, cost-efficient aircraft, under-serviced destinations and exclusive, high-value routes. The execution of a revised business model and right-sized operation, by competent management, free of political interference, will return the airline to profitability.”
Another imperative on the agenda for SAX employees is for the Department of Enterprise to give the employees their well-deserved retrenchment packages.
A ‘survival mode’,” is important for them to emerge with stronger mindset to shape their future vision with a new perspective and lay the foundation for implementing this new approach. It takes a lot of hard work to publicize your offering and attract potential investors,” says Tabassum Qadir, the CEO of Uprise.Africa.
An initial review of the proposed business plan was conducted by Uprise.Africa’s Legal and Compliance team, and consequently an Expression of Interest was submitted to the Provisional Liquidator through its appointed Agents – GoIndustry DoveBid SA (PTY) LTD. The proposal will need to be approved by the liquidators, shareholders and relevant authorities.
Uprise.Africa will appoint Lufthansa Consulting to conduct further due diligence of the project before it goes live on the platform to its registered, accredited national and international investors.
“This is great news for SAX, the employees and the greater South Africa as it brings a spark of hope to many businesses facing the same prospects,” says SAX spokesperson in closing.