Takatso Aviation (Pty) Ltd has appointed veteran journalist Thulasizwe Simelane as spokesperson, to ensure improved transparency and bolster understanding of the South African Airways (SAA) Strategic Equity Partnership transaction.

Takatso Aviation, the company acquiring a 51% stake in SAA, is 80% owned by Harith General Partners, a leading Pan-African investor and developer founded in 2007, with a distinguished history of executing massive infrastructure projects and complex deals across the continent.  Harith, a mobiliser of global capital, has over US$ 1 billion in assets under management and has invested in several projects in energy, transport, and digital infrastructure. These include amongst others, Africa’s largest wind energy farm in Lake Turkana, Kenya, the Henri Konan Bédié expressway bridge in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, as well as the Lanseria International airport, which Harith owns and operates together with a consortium of investors.

Simelane’s appointment comes at a critical time, as Takatso Aviation continues to steer the SAA transaction through competition regulatory processes. These processes, along with the fulfilment of several key conditions from the part of the Government, will ultimately see the company invest R3 billion for the future growth of the national carrier, thus lessening the burden on the fiscus. Takatso stands ready to make this investment and set SAA on a path towards becoming an agile, competitive, sustainable and commercially viable airline. Takatso Aviation sees SAA as an important vehicle that contributes to economic growth, as well as regional and continental trade and integration.

“As Takatso Aviation, we understand that SAA is a national asset and a symbol of pride for many South Africans. When properly managed, it is also an important vehicle for economic growth, both regionally and across the continent. Therefore, we understand the importance of bringing South Africans on this journey with us,” said Takatso Aviation Director, Mr Tshepo Mahloele.

“In his new role, Thulasizwe will be the key point of contact for media, to ensure South Africans are informed on the process aimed at setting the national carrier on a financially sustainable and competitive path. He will further ensure that we promote transparency and understanding by the public of this Transaction.” Added Mahloele.  

Thulasizwe is familiar to many South Africans and brings 21 years of experience in journalism, including significant experience in Communications making him well placed to communicate on developments on the transaction in which so many stakeholders including the public have a vested interest.

“I am looking forward to being part of the Takatso Aviation team and adding my voice to bring South Africans closer to the unfolding story of a new and exciting era for SAA. I know how it feels to get on an SAA flight, say after a stint abroad, and get that warm feeling of being home, almost instantly.  We want to restore that national pride, while also ensuring that our national carrier is well and efficiently managed, achieving long-term commercial viability,” says Simelane.