Public Enterprises Minister, Malusi Gigaba, on Tuesday said Africa would become South Africa’s airline industry’s primary target and planned to “dominate” the continent’s airline industry.

He said the state-owned airline, South African Express, intended to aggressively expand into the African continent.

Gigaba added South African Airlines (SAA) and SA Express would diversify routes to places such as Mozambique, Tanzania, Angola and Ghana which have been identified as high growth areas.

“Quite clearly, Africa must become our primary market. That means that SAA and SA Express must develop integrated strategies. It must also mean adding value to the South African economy,” said Gigaba. He said the issue was not that there must be flights all over Africa.

“We need to dominate the African market. We need to provide high quality service to our African customers that will make them appreciate and love the airline,” added Gigaba.

Meanwhile, Eskom, South Africa’s electricity utility, intends to start a fund to help finance mining companies owned by black South Africans.

The state-run utility said this would increase supply of fuel to it.

Gigaba said Eskom, which is generating 95 percent of the country’s power, would join Industrial Development Corp (IDC), the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for the fund.

“Eight mines supply 68 percent of Eskom’s coal,” he said, and how the company buys the fuel will help to transform mining.

Eskom will spend 500 billion rand ($58 billion) through 2017 to update and build plants to bridge a capacity shortage.

Requests for interest in the fund will be sent this week or next ready to set up the plan next quarter, Eskom Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Brian Dames, said, declining to estimate its size.


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