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South African Airways discusses with Banks, National Treasury for an open credit line

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South African Airways (SAA) urgently needs a new capital injection to stay afloat and is in discussions with banks and the National Treasury for “an open credit line”, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

State-owned SAA, which has not generated a profit since 2011, is regularly cited by ratings agencies as a drain on the government purse and has already received state guarantees totaling nearly 20 billion rand ($1.6 billion).

“We do need access to capital to sustain the operations and we are having discussions with Treasury, as well as the banks around how we can have an open credit line,” Chief Executive Vuyani Jarana told parliament.

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Asked by an opposition lawmaker when the airline would need to access billions of rands of extra state support, Jarana responded “Now”.

He later told reporters that SAA would need around 5 billion rand this year to pay down debts and for operational costs. The struggling airline has not had credit facilities since August when bank lenders pulled the plug after a debt repayment scare.

“Over the next six months we will need… in the range of 5 billion rand to make sure we can support the working capital,” Jarana said, adding that amount included arrear payments.

The National Treasury said that SAA needs an equity partner to pump money into the company to address a liquidity crisis and to help with the implementation of a turnaround plan.

The company’s results for the year to March 31, 2017, which had been delayed after the company received a 10 billion rand government bailout last year, showed a deepening loss of 5.6 billion rand, a more than threefold increase from the previous year’s 1.5 billion rand loss.

SAA will need to repay bank debts of 9.2 billion rand by March 2019, Jarana said, adding that this figure could increase.

“SAA has not been able to pay the principal amount, we’ve always been able to service the interest payments on this, so part of the strategic options we are looking at… is an optimal capital structure,” he told reporters.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Salah withdraws from Egypt Squad

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Egypt Football Federation has leave out Mohammed Salah on the upcoming AFCON qualifiers match with Kenya due to injury worries.

Egypt were grouped with kenya, Togo, Comoros in Group G, football fans has tipped Egypt to top the group due to their attacking threat.

The Egyptian talisman has now been ruled out of the upcoming AFCON qualifiers after due assessment by Egypt’s medical team.

The physios believe the Liverpool star’s injury, which was sustained from a challenge by Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury earlier last month, has been aggravated during the clash against Manchester City and needed time to heal.

The Egyptian frontman will miss the two matches scheduled this week.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Groups criticise Kenya’s census figures

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Groups has criticised the released Kenya’s population census figures stating that the results are not accurate.

It found that the total population of the country is now 47.6 million, nine million more than in 2009.

But some regions have experienced a decrease in population.

These outcomes can be hugely controversial because the size of the local population has important implications for the level of government funding they receive.

Kenya’s population is made up of many different ethnic groups, closely aligned to competing political parties.

The government has yet to release all the data on the ethnic composition of the country, but the changes in population in certain regions from this latest census have already caused arguments.

The outcome of such surveys can embolden or weaken claims made by groups for political representation or resources.

In one area of the north-east territories bordering Ethiopia and Somalia, the census indicates a decrease in the population, prompting local political leaders looking to retain funding for their provinces to question the veracity of the survey

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