The Angolan government is one of four African countries that owe South African Airways (SAA) more than R1 billion for airline tickets, but the country has now promised to pay its debt, Business Day reported on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, finance minister Malusi Gigaba reportedly said the airline faced numerous "revenue management challenges". This includes outstanding plane ticket fare from "certain governments" totalling R1 billion. These countries are Angola, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Nigeria.
The Angolans owe SAA an estimated R850 million. Gigaba said South Africa had spoken to the Angolan government and had received assurances that it would be paid in spite of the economic challenges faced by the country.
"We are addressing that internally. We are also engaging with the governments owing us, including the Angolan government, for the repatriation of the money they owe us so we can close down on those books," Gigaba reportedly said.
"We have discussed with the Angolan government about repatriation. We hope and expect that the new government... is going to continue to honour the agreement which we have reached. We know that Angola is facing many economic challenges, but so are we and many other countries," Gigaba said.
Meanwhile, a decision on how to bail out SAA should be made by September, given that the "current credit line has been rolled over until the end of September," Gigaba said.
"So we need to make a decision by then which would enable us to inform the lenders of the financial arrangements and capital structure that is going to be finalised this year," he said.
All except one lender had agreed to roll over its loans, and discussions were continuing, Gigaba said.