Private losses: the state has washed its hands of the public along with SAA
This is ANC’s admission that it doesn’t have the capacity to run even the most basic systems required in a modern state
The pawning of SA Airways and Cyril Ramaphosa’s flinging of Gwede Mantashe under a 100MW bus have been hailed as important steps, in the way adults applaud a toddler for staggering forward without falling on its face.
Then again, perhaps this is an unfair comparison. Toddlers only take a year or two to learn to walk, while the ANC has spent the last decade deciding that walking is counterrevolutionary and that it’s much more sensible to saw off your own legs at the knee and then blame the media for the ensuing blood loss.
The delay in flogging SAA has been particularly strange. A national carrier, after all, is nothing but a conceptual codpiece. At very best it is an attempt to associate the modern state with the long-lost glamour of prewar air travel, an era in which passengers bumped along below the clouds, clutching their hatboxes as they watched stewards in immaculate naval uniforms squirt seltzer water at the fire eating through the canvas of the starboard wing...