Who’s who in the new Takatso Consortium


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According to the DA, the first major concern regarding the new majority shareholders of SAA is the fact that the board of directors of Harith General Partners was chaired by Jabu Moloketi.

CAPE TOWN – A consortium involving a former deputy finance minister, as well as the man behind budget airlines like Kulula, has taken over a majority stake in South African Airways (SAA).

The new strategic partner, the Takatso consortium, was announced last week by SOE Minister Pravin Gordhan as the new majority owner of SAA.

During his remarks, Gordhan said the partnership would see SAA receive a boost of Rand 3 billion from strategic partners. The Takatso consortium will own the majority of SAA shares at 51%, with the government holding 49%.

The Chairman of Takatso and current Executive Director of the Harith Group is Tshepo Mahloele.

Tshepo Mahloele. Picture: Supplied.

The consortium includes Harith General Partners, a Pan-African investor in African infrastructure, as well as the aviation group Global Aviation.

Harith General Partners is chaired by former Deputy Finance Minister Jabulani Moleketi. The other financial partner is Gidon Novick of Global Airways, who will be the CEO of Takatso. Novick is the former co-CEO of Comair, which operates Kulula, and recently co-founder of airline LIFT.

Novick said there are incredible skills and talents available here in South Africa as well as an abundance of low cost aircraft available around the world. These, he said, were both essential ingredients for a successful airline.

“Transformation will be at the heart of SAA, including the accelerated training and promotion of skilled black pilots and a broad employee incentive program,” he said.

Gidon Novick.  Picture: Supplied.

Gidon Novick. Picture: Supplied.

Novick was also Managing Director of Discovery Vitality, having co-founded Kulula and Managing Director of Comair.

The consortium said the intention was to list the airline in the future as a way to meet funding needs.

Moleketi chaired the Public Investment Corporation and was also deputy finance minister when Harith secured R17million seed funding in 2006.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa made allegations against Harith Fund Manager, its CEO Mahloele and then non-executive chairman Moleketi, claiming that Mahloele and Moleketi used their previous positions at PIC to enrich themselves – allegations they denied.

The Mpati commission of inquiry into the case cleared them of any wrongdoing when the report was released last year.

According to Courier and tutor, Holomisa was barred from making further allegations by court order.

Reacting to the deal, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said the first major concern was that the Harith General Partners board was chaired by Moleketi.

“It should be noted that whenever the ANC engages in public-private partnerships, it is almost always the ANC bigwigs who benefit the most,” said DA MP Alf Lees.

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